Suffered massive heart attack
Gave daughter’s hand away in marriage from bedside in ICU
Received heart transplant at Westchester Medical Center
Danced at daughter’s reception
David Holt, heart transplant patient
In March 2008, David Holt suffered a massive heart attack at his home in Valley Cottage, NY. Faced with only an 8% chance of survival, and in desperate need of a heart transplant, he was flown to Westchester Medical Center. Over the next few days, the hospital’s cardiology team was able to stabilize David’s condition, placing him on a Tandem Heart − a machine used to help his heart pump blood. Although still critically ill, David was able to see his daughter, Eden, married at his bedside in the ICU, surrounded by a small group of family and friends.
The very next day, doctors implanted a left ventricle assist device, or LVAD, to keep him alive while waiting for a heart to become available. Much smaller than the Tandem Heart, the portable LVAD would allow David to wait at home rather than in the hospital. On April 9, thirteen days after being placed on the list for a heart transplant − 22 days after arriving at Westchester Medical Center, as he was preparing to leave the hospital with the LVAD in place, the call came in. A donor heart was available − a gift of life from a 19-year-old stranger.
After a successful heart transplant surgery and a few months of recuperation, David had defied the odds. The cardiac care he received at Westchester Medical Center had given him a new lease on life, a chance to enjoy retirement, and the opportunity to dance with Eden at her long-awaited wedding reception. Today, David returns to the Medical Center on a regular basis, not just for check-ups − but for visits to support and encourage new patients currently on the waiting list for donor hearts.
Listen to David Holt tell his story: