Marco V. - Heart Warrior & Heart Transplant Receipient
When I was 20 months old I was diagnosed with leukemia. After receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment I remained medically healthy throughout my school years and became a firefighter/EMT for 16 years! In January 2011, I retired as a firefighter with the Tulare County Fire due to my declining health from congestive heart failure which was a direct result of the treatment that had saved my life as a baby. Being a firefighter/EMT was so rewarding for me and it felt great saving so many lives. But now I was on the other side as a patient and on the heart transplant list. After five and half months being on the list, I received a phone call from my doctor saying "We have a heart for you" just as I was leaving for a Giants game at AT&T. I was on the operating table for 12 hours with seven surgeons. My new heart was rejected twice by my body and I was ultimately put into an induced come and placed on a ventilator for two weeks but I came back. I underwent extensive rehabilitation from learning how to walk again to feeding myself and taking a shower. I lived in Redwood City for the summer of 2013 and didn't return home until the week after Halloween. It took me a year and a half to get back to feeling my new normal. I am now back to working, I workout five days a week and am feeling great!