In 2009 Jason’s world was turned upside down when he went from a healthy, active life to nearly dying in just a month. He began experiencing symptoms of a cold that got progressively worse. Upon visiting a doctor, he was diagnosed with an unusual strain of pneumonia. Just four weeks later he had congestive heart failure, a condition that threatened his life.
A left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, was implanted in Jason’s chest to help his heart pump blood throughout his body and keep him alive. He was also placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant.
Jason waited 9 long months using the LVAD, which required him to carry around an attached computer and replace batteries frequently. During that time, he received one false alarm from the transplant center when they believed they had a heart for him, which later fell through. Finally, in February of 2010, Jason received word from his doctors that a heart was ready. Twelve hours later, Jason was in surgery.
Within a matter of weeks, Jason was on the road to a full recovery. In the years that followed Jason resumed full-time work and an active life with his wife, including hiking, camping, seeing live music and more. He has also completed his Business Degree in Human Resources.
“Five years ago, I was dead. Because of my transplant, I am alive. And I couldn’t be alive without my donor,” Jason said. “I am thankful for every day that I wake up and can honor my donor family by continuing to keep their loved one’s memory alive by being strong and helping others whenever I can.”