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Roger Roger Fights a Deadly Fate With a Heart Transplant

“Wealth can’t buy what they gave me. They saved my life.”

Roger, of Passaic, NJ, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) at age 32. His two brothers died at young age from heart disease and Mr. Thomas fought hard against a similar fate. Yet, at age 54 he was admitted to the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program at the Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center with Class IV heart failure. His cardiac output was declining, his pulmonary pressures climbing and his symptoms of heart failure worsening. Shortly after admission and prior to the identification of a donor heart, his arrhythmias worsened. A few years ago Mr. Thomas would have been among the hundreds of people who die each year waiting for a heart transplant.

Today, the country’s most advanced cardiac centers offer the latest generation of mechanical assist devices which provide patients like Mr. Thomas a reliable bridge to transplantation. Days after he consented to participate in one of the Heart Center’s Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) clinical research trials and underwent device implantation, a donor heart was found and a successful transplant performed. Mr. Thomas continues to get stronger everyday and says of Mark J. Zucker M.D., J.D.; Margarita Camacho, M.D.; and the entire transplant team. “Wealth can’t buy what they gave me. They saved my life.”