Heart transplant program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital celebrates anniversary

CHICAGO - More than a dozen heart transplant recipients joined physicians, nurses and administrators of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Tuesday to celebrate the first anniversary of the re-launch of the Institute's heart transplant program. The event was a chance for hospital staff to celebrate the hard work that has resulted in 15 heart transplants in one year with a 100 percent survival rate and to re-connect with patients and their families.

The heart transplant team presented a gift to each patient, including the ninth-heart transplant recipient, Edward Razo. Mr. Razo, an ironworker, had helped build the Feinberg and Galter pavilions of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and recently worked on the new Prentice Women's Hospital due to open in fall 2007.

"Even though I knew that a heart transplant was potentially in the cards for me, I was still shocked when, at 41 years old, I was told that a heart transplant was now my only option," said Mr. Razo. "Although the experience of the heart transplant was challenging, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's heart transplant team answered all of my questions and met all of my needs."

Remarks were made by John B. O'Connell, M.D., director of the Bluhm Institute's Center for Heart Failure, and William Cotts, M.D., and Edwin McGee, Jr., M.D., the medical and surgical directors respectively for the advanced heart failure program.

"I am very proud of the program that we have established at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's Center for Heart Failure," said Dr. O'Connell. "Heart failure and heart transplant patients benefit from the Center's multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, social workers, dietitians and nurses. Physicians collaborate on cases and bring their full range of expertise to treatment decisions."

The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's fir

Contact: Andrew Buchanan
Northwestern Memorial Hospital

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