Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Man receives heart, wife gives blood

The illustration shows the major signs and sym...
Heart Failure symptoms
Sherri and Mark Szep did not have the typical wedding night that newlyweds generally enjoy when they were married 18 years ago. When Mark, 25, spent their wedding night on the bathroom floor of their hotel extremely ill, neither of them had any idea how sick he actually was. They were actually preparing to leave on a cruise the next day, but it turned out Mark was suffering from viral cardiomyopathy and had gained 40 pounds of fluid around his heart by the time Sherri got him to the hospital.

The story, Donated Heart Inspires Hundreds of Blood Donations, on says that the viral cardiomyopathy which afflicted Mark can hit suddenly. A virus attacks the heart causing irreversible, severe damage leading to heart failure.Ten years after Mark contracted the disease, he was out of options. In April 2002, he was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. After going through a long and difficult surgery, Mark bounced back and is now enjoying his health and additional time with his wife and two sons. Mark's donor was 21-year old Greg Lee, Jr. who passed away after being accidentally hit in the head by a batted softball while playing pitcher.

Sherri and Mark have met Greg's family and shared some very special moments with them. On one occasion, Greg's mom gave Sherri a ring that had been made from Greg's jewelry. Sherri is so thankful for Mark's new lease on life that she gives back. She not only organizes blood drives but donates blood herself. She's organized 41 drives which have led to 964 donations including 17 of her own. Sherri says, "I feel like me giving blood or organizing these blood drives is my way of giving back." She's doing a heck of a job of it, too. Go Sherri !!
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