Heart transplant record holder dies of cancer

“Heart transplant recipient (Tony Huesman) who lived a record 31 years with a single donated organ has died at age 51 of cancer, his heart still going strong, his widow said.”

Associated Press 12th August 2009

When he received the heart transplant in 1978 he was told he may have had 5 years to live. Since then survival has improved but graft survival is usually no more than 15 years1 which makes Mr Huesman’s achievement all the more unique.

1) Dayton JD, Kanter KR, Vincent RN, Mahle WT. Cost-effectiveness of pediatric heart transplantation. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006 Apr;25(4):409-15. Epub 2006 Feb 8.