Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important information from Sharp
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Verify your medical group

Refer to your insurance card or call your insurance provider to determine your medical group.

You can also search for your primary care doctor to find the medical group you and your doctor belong to.

Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Heart transplant recipients race to the finish line

Aug. 5, 2016

Heart transplant recipients race to the finish line

Dr. Brian Jaski (third from left) with heart transplant recipients and half marathon finishers Justin Feria, Robert French and Bryon Moore, in 2012.

Before his heart transplant, Justin Feria would sit on the bathroom floor, throwing up and unable to move. Even after sleeping for about 20 hours a day, he was left with no energy. Everyday activities like walking were exhausting. His chance of living longer than a year was 25 percent.

Robert French forgot what it felt like to have a healthy, beating heart. He used to go to bed not knowing if he would wake up the next morning. Now, the thing he thinks about the most is that his kids have a father.

Bryon Moore was a paramedic for most of his life. While at an emergency physicians’ conference, he felt horrible so one of his friends hooked him up to an EKG, which revealed life-threatening arrhythmias and ventricular tachycardia. His heart’s right ventricle went from normal thickness to papier-mâché thin in a month. His cardiologist warned that his condition was terminal and that he would need a heart transplant.

“Following discharge from the hospital after heart transplant, we enroll all of our patients in an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program,” says Dr. Brian Jaski, a cardiologist and medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Clinical Cardiology program at Sharp Memorial Hospital. “Interestingly, clinical studies have found that those who participate in this type of rehabilitation program require lower doses of steroid and anti-hypertensive medications and, furthermore, have a lower number of rejection and infection episodes.”

Before giving his approval for a long-distance race, Dr. Jaski required all three men to complete a period of initial screening and training. All passed with flying colors before completing the America’s Finest City Half Marathon in 2012, the culmination of the San Diego Triple Crown of running — three half marathons in one year.

“A lot of people have this idea, ‘Oh my God. He’s had a heart transplant, he'll be forced to live a bed-to-chair existence after his transplant.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” says Dr. Jaski. “Patients realize what they’ve been given: an amazing gift of life. It’s inspiring to me. It’s inspiring to others to say look what they’re doing with their second chance. What am I doing?”

The runners’ strategy consisted of repeating cycles of running for two or three minutes then walking a minute, to reduce their levels of perceived exertion and joint stress.

“The physiology of exercise is different after a heart transplant because there are no nerves directly hooked up to the heart. People still respond with an increase of heart rate but it’s through the release of adrenaline into the circulation. They’re not hard-wired, it’s more soft-wired,” says Dr. Jaski.

The trio’s transplant status surprised many of their fellow runners. “People have no idea. 'What do you mean? Which one had the heart transplant?' We’re just like everybody else,” says Moore. “It’s a fantastic gift to go from death’s door to being blessed enough to be able to do this.”

Learn more about Justin, Robert and Bryon’s journey in this Sharp HealthCare video

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us


For medical or psychiatric emergencies, call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process hospital price estimates if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

To learn more, call us at 858-499-5901.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.