Mark Wilson, Transplant Recipient

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This is my way of giving back...

My name is Mark Wilson and I was blessed to receive the gift of life in October 2014 and am thankful for each and every day! Prior to 2010, I was leading a healthy life until I suddenly found out that I had congestive heart failure from a virus and would need a heart transplant. I found this out initially in a period of about 5 days after going in for a chest x-ray for what I thought was just an upper respiratory infection. I was told to go straight to the hospital and hours later had a balloon pump inserted and within just days was transferred to the Mayo Clinic for urgent care and evaluation for a heart transplant.

This was quite a shock at the time and fortunately I recovered and was later released without requiring a transplant. My condition improved for a couple years while I managed with heart failure, but things took a turn for the worse in 2012 as I developed arrhythmia and my heart function started to drop again. In early 2014 I found myself back in the hospital suffering from multiple shocks and ventricular arrhythmia episodes and was once again urgently transferred back to the Mayo Clinic. I spent about 4 months at Mayo and barely survived an emergency LVAD surgery to keep me alive as a bridge to transplant. With my new mechanical pump powering what was left of my damaged heart, I was able to recover and build my strength until I was told that a donated heart was available for me. I would not be here today without organ donation and the life given to me by my donor and donor family.

I am now back working and able to spend time with my wife and two children, travel to visit family, play golf, hike, and most importantly enjoy life again! I am also now actively involved as a volunteer with Donor Network of Arizona so I can help spread the word about organ donation and register new donors. This is my way of giving back and want to do everything I can to help others in need and to honor my donor and donor family!

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