Heart transplant is a rebirth of sorts for Fort Wayne man

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, spending time with his grandson, and even performing household chores, Michael Steadman is cherishing every experience.

Steadman’s heart began to fail three years ago. He got weak, could barely climb the stairs, and was exhausted all the time. Things gradually got worse, and last year doctors told him he’d need a transplant. He expected to be on the waiting list for months – maybe even years – but within 5 days he got the call.

That was in July of 2015. He’s still on the road to recovery and doing everything he can to stay active and healthy.

“I don’t get another chance to, like, take this back to Walmart and get another heart,” explained Steadman. “So I want to take care of this one.”

Steadman recently celebrated his 57th birthday but considers the heart transplant a rebirth of sorts.

“Pushing my garbage can to the curb. That’s amazing, the things we take for granted when you can’t push your own garbage can out. Some things I’m still limited on. But the fact that I was able to walk around the block, walk in the park with my grandson,” he said. “It’s like, when you don’t have a chance to do it or you could not have done it before, you enjoy it. You’re humble about it and you enjoy it.”

Steadman said there are so many people at Lutheran Hospital to thank during this journey and he’s now spreading the word about organ donation in the hopes of saving other lives.

“The transplant team, the hospital itself, all those people who put a lot into getting me back on the street… I want to be able to give some of that back and just go forward and see what the Lord has prepared for me.”

he hopes to someday soon be able to meet the family of the person who donated his heart and tell them how much he appreciates their gift.

“That portion of that person – their life is still moving on. It’s just moving through me. So I’m looking forward to being able to express that to them and to thank them for that.”

April is National Donate Life Month. To find out more about becoming a donor go to www.donatelifeindiana.org. For information about becoming a living donor, call the Lutheran Transplant Center.

 

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