For the media

Honoring the heart that served him (video)

By The Health News Team | October 10, 2023

It was on an ordinary day that Duilio Ortega, age 51, felt dizzy and was having difficulty breathing. He thought he might be experiencing a problem with his lungs, so went to Sharp Memorial Hospital’s emergency room. There, he learned he’d actually had a heart attack.

Over time, Duilio developed severe heart failure. He was then told he needed a heart transplant. All-in-all, Duilio was at Sharp Memorial Hospital for five months. He was bedridden with two heart pumps to keep him alive and didn’t think he’d survive.

However, when a heart became available, Duilio thought it was a miracle. And after a successful heart transplant, he was given the opportunity to hold his own heart and say goodbye.

“Mr. Ortega had a dramatic improvement after the transplant,” says Dr. Robert Adamson, a cardiothoracic surgeon affiliated with Sharp Memorial. “He returned to excellent health very quickly.”

Watch the video above to learn more about Duilio’s story.

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