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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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My dad had a heart transplant. How long he can survive after this ?

My dad had a heart transplant when he was 36. He s now going on 46, and has his tenth heart anniversary is coming up on the 27th of October. One of his friends, a fellow transplantee, had been told by someone, You ll get 15 years and then it s over. I thought this was harsh and crazy, because my dad is fitter than anyone I know. He trains every week, has done 6 marathons, 8 triathalons and holds the world record of the fastest transplantee to run the marathon. Simply type into google ernesto antonio transplant and there are links to all of his work. This september, he s going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I was just wondering.. despite all this, will he still die in five years time with someone elses heart? I don t think he s ready, and I know he s going to die earlier than most, but 51 is too young and I don t want him to go by the time I m 20. I m so scared. Thank you in advance x
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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Your father appears to have had a fantastic success and has really dedicated himself to the new lease on life the transplant has afforded him. Although the time to failure of the transplant is proportional to the time since implant, no one can say when his heart will fail. The most common cause at this point is the development of coronary artery disease,probably due to some autoimmune response. Since the transplanted heart does not cause chest pain in the typical way it is important to monitor your father on a regular basis, especially looking for occult coronary disease. I have seen patients live longer than 15 years and I wouldn't worry over the comments made by someone who also is dealing with the same issues and is covering up his own insecurities by making jokes. I am certain it can be very difficult to have a transplant as it is a major change in one's lifestyle. I would recommend to enjoy every day with your father, good advice for us all, and if he remains this active and compliant with his doctors he may out live us all. God bless.
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