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Jennifer Heisler, RN

Man Loses Weight, Gets a New Heart

By February 7, 2013

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Sugi Hunkin was only 26 years old when he found out his heart was failing. That information, combined with no longer being able to work or exercise, led the already 300 pound man to gain another 50 pounds.

Sugi's only hope was a heart transplant, but surgeons refused to perform a transplant on someone who was such a high risk for surgery.  Unable to exercise due to his heart condition, doctors performed a different surgery, this one to place a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) to help his heart work better.

With the VAD in place, Sugi was able to start walking, and combined with a strict diet, lost over 100 pounds.  Once he was 250 pounds his surgeon, Georg Wieselthaler, told him that he would performed the transplant if a heart became available.

How a Heart Transplant is Done

On August 8th, 2012, Sugi received his heart transplant.  He is doing well, has kept the weight off and continues to exercise.

Coping After Transplant Surgery

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