UC man thankful for a new heart
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2010 8:52 pm
In 2008, he began experiencing breathing problems while attending a college football game with friends. After a week of tests, doctors told Clark a virus had attacked his heart and he was suffering from congestive heart failure.
In December, Clark, who is a Tyson Foods employee, received a heart transplant, which doctors said was his only hope for survival. He no longer has a broken heart, but he will always remember how it felt to wait on his second chance at life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 26 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with heart disease. February is National Heart Month, a time when people are encouraged to evaluate their lifestyles and learn the symptoms of heart disease to protect themselves and their families.
A heart transplant costs approximately $775,000, and that’s only the beginning. Even with health coverage, Clark faces significant expenses related to his transplant. He will need follow-up care and anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life, which can cost as much as $5,000 a month. These vital medications are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
“I am so happy Matthew has received this wonderful gift that saved his life,” said Carrie Berry, NFT fundraising consultant. “At NFT, we’ll continue helping him raise funds so he can enjoy his new life without worrying about the expenses. I hope his story encourages others to learn the warning signs of heart disease, because paying attention to those signs can truly save your life.”
To make donations in honor of Clark, visit www.transplants.org and click on “patients we help” to search for him. For those who prefer to mail a contribution, send the gift to the NFT Tennessee Heart Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Be sure to write “in honor of Matthew Clark” in the memo line.
Published in The Messenger 2.5.10