SIDNEY — On Dec. 8, 2017, Tim Jordan, of Sidney, received a gift of life and his life hasn’t been the same since. On that date, he received a new heart thanks to a person who chose to donate their organs after the passed away.
Jordan and Pam Fultz were part of a flag raising ceremony Thursday morning, Sept. 27, in conjunction with Donate Life Ohio to raise the awareness of the need of organ and tissue donors throughout the state and nation. Flags Across Ohio’s goal is to raise Donate Life flags in each of Ohio’s 88 counties in 2018.
“I was suffering from congestive heart failure,” said Jordan. “I was put on the transplant list on May 22, 2017. On Dec. 7, I got the call that a heart was available.”
The surgery was performed Dec. 8, at the Cleveland Clinic.
“My dad died of congestive heart failure,” said Jordan. The condition is hereditary and Jordan suffered from it for 15 years.
“I received a heart pump on April 28, 2017,” he said. Then he waited for the call which came on Dec. 7.
“I feel great today,” said Jordan. “At the beginning (after the transplant), it was rough. Now I can do activities that I couldn’t do before.”
After his transplant, he worked with a trainer at Anytime Fitness in Lima.
“He told me that he could tell that I could do more than I used to,” said Jordan.
Before his transplant, his heart had a 10 percent ejection fraction. After the transplant, it has risen to 65 percent. The ejection fraction is how much oxyenated blood is pumped from the left ventricle through the ascending aorta to the rest of the body. An ejection fraction of 55 percent or higher is considered normal.
“My heart was very weak and enlarged,” said Jordan.
Jordan said he hasn’t heart from the family of his heart donor. But if they were standing in front of him, he would humbly say “thank you” for the gift of life.
He is also grateful to his girlfriend, Patty Barrand, who has helped him with his care before and after the transplant.
Both Jordan and Karen Range, of Sidney, work out at the YMCA to live life to its fullest after receiving transplants. Range is a double lung transplant recipient. She was unable to attend the the flag-raising ceremony.
Pam Fultz, who’s late husband, Keith, was an organ and tissue donor after his death, said she is thankful the YMCA is supporting the Flags Across Ohio program. She said knowing that Keith had saved lives after his death through organ donation allowed her to get through the grieving process.
“It does my heart good to see Tim and Karen work out here and honoring their donor by living their life to the fullest,” said Fultz.
Ed Thomas, YMCA CEO, said he hopes the flag-raising ceremony will become an annual event at the YMCA.
“We want to help get the message out,” said Thomas. “Tim and Karen are working hard to stay healthy by working out at the YMCA.”
Nearly 115,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Approximately 20 people die each day for the lack of an available organ. In Ohio, more than 2,900 people are waiting for a transplant.
“If you’re not an organ donor, I hope you would consider becoming a registered organ donor,” said Thomas.
Thomas said every 10 minutes a person’s name is added to the transplant list. In Ohio, he said, one person dies every other day while waiting for a transplant.
“A person has the power to save eight lives through organ donation,” said Thomas. Countless others can lead a better life through tissue donations.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.