"My name is Phil Lewis and I was listed for a heart transplant on March 26th 2018 at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. While on the list I physically felt good most days, but did have a few ruff ones. I was admitted to the hospital a few times. Mentally it was tough at times not knowing when the call was going to come and not being able to plan anything that you couldn't change in a moments notice. My family and friends helped a lot. The other thing that helped is I started seeing a therapist as I was also dealing with being a cancer survivor. On June 9th, 2020 at 1:30 in the afternoon I got the call that a heart might be available for me. I was running some errands when I got the call. My first thought was, "is this real?". When I realized it was I said yes to the doctor that I still wanted the heart. I called my wife and headed home to get things in order. The transplant started at 2:30 PM on June 10th.
I'm now able to do some things that I either wasn't able to do or was tougher to do. I can now do some mechanical work on cars and equipment around our acreage. I'm able to walk out of the house to go run errands and not have to carry a backpack full of extra stuff for my LVAD and when the phone rings my mind doesn't wonder if this is the call.
The overall process from being listed to transplant and now recover has been tough, but has been worth it. I have met some great people and it opened my eye's about how life is to short. It also made me realize how volunteering can help. I have been volunteering at Iowa Donor Network, the University Of Iowa Hospital and the Iowa City Animal Shelter.
What can I say about the donor and his family except thank you and I'm sorry for you're loss. I will do my best to take care of you're loved ones generous gift of a heart."
--Phil Lewis, Heart Recipient