Peter

As seen in New Jersey Monthly magazine, November 2007.

Waiting for a heart transplant and given only a few months to live, Peter optimistically ordered the tuxedo for his daughter’s wedding.

An active man with a history of good health but family history of heart disease, in 1999, Peter underwent triple bypass surgery. After a successful procedure a several years of good health, in 2005 he began feeling fatigued again and it was determined that he needed a stent in his right coronary artery. Peter recovered but his heart remained weak.

In October 2006, Peter contracted a minor infection - which is never a minor issue for a heart patient. He became increasingly ill and lacked the energy to work at the marina he owed and loved.

A few months later, tests showed that his heart had enlarged and was only functioning at 15 percent of capacity. He pushed himself onward until April 2006, when a visit to an emergency room revealed that his liver and kidneys were shutting down - doctors said his heart would be next.

When it was determined that Peter had end-stage heart failure but otherwise in reasonably good health, his name was added to the heart transplant list.

Peter was very lucky to be a resident of New Jersey and to have stayed in state for his treatment. Many patients falsely believe the that they have to travel to big cities like New York or Philadelphia for quality care, so the transplant lists for hospitals in those cities tend to be much longer than in the smaller community hospitals. Peter had chosen the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and its director, Marc J. Zucker, MD, JD, as his physician., Peter waited just over one month for his new heart.

Peter, a heart transplant success story

Just six days after his life saving transplant surgery, the determined, optimistic Peter donned his rented tuxedo and walked his daughter Kristi down the isle. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

After a long, difficult recovery, Peter now takes medications four times a day. He is back at the marina and credits his girlfriend Barbara for helping him in his recovery and the team at the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for saving his life.

For information about organ donation, contact The United Network of Organ Sharing at unos.org. Interested in becoming an organ donor? Check the “organ donor” box the next time you renew your driver’s license or visit organdonor.gov to register for an organ donation card.

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