Former Baker resident Brandon Schmidt has received a new heart.
The transplant operation took place June 21 after a donor heart was located and passed an inspection before it was transported to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
Before going in for the transplant operation, Schmidt posted this information on his Facebook page:
“Hey everyone! Potentially big update and I’m going to stress the potential on this one. Last night at 6 p.m. I got a call saying that my team has received an offer on a heart that is a match for me. The process was put on pause overnight as the donor is in a hospital without some overnight services, but they assured me that he was very stable and would make it through the night. They would perform a CT scan on the donor and heart at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, which would be the biggest hurdle to cross. If that looks good, Cedars sends a procurement team to the hospital to physically look at it, which is another hurdle. If it looks good, they take the heart and fly back with the organ to Cedars-Sinai. At some point during this process, a lot of hospitals already have started prepping the patient, which likely will happen with me, IF everything goes as planned.
Sometimes this does not happen. There are times that the patient, including anesthetize the patient, and something happens upon removing the heart and further examination or transport, etc. This results in the patient going under and waking back up with nothing having been done. They refer to this as a “dry run” and it happens enough, that you are reminded about it all of the time during your first exam, the training, and any chance the surgery comes up. So again, I am cautiously optimistic that this afternoon and evening, I will be in surgery getting a new heart.
They don’t say much for the donor but send good thoughts, prayers, energies to him, and his family as they have lost a loved one and one that sounds like they lived a good healthy, clean life. After I had my transplant in Florida, I was told after the transplant that my heart ended up being slightly undersized. After going through kidney issues and dealing with kidney doctors here and cross-checking with other teams, this may have affected my overall health more than I was told or more than they realized. So I asked if this one was the correct size. The response was, “Well...Mr. Schmidt, you are a big guy and that is a challenge. We knew the issue with the smaller heart, so when we got calls with offers from slightly smaller people, we turned them down for you. But this is a big young guy about your size, so when we did the calculations, this should be a perfect match.” I also asked if this heart carried high risks, and they said, no, he seemed to be very healthy and zero risky behaviors.
So, that’s my cautious update. I MAAAYYYBEEEE getting a new heart this afternoon if everything goes as planned. I threw the link up again to the fundraiser that Jim Schaefer ever so kindly started. Don’t feel any pressure to donate or re-donate, but I’ve had questions on where the link is. I always appreciate seeing your names pop up. Seeing that you guys care enough to take the time to donate, the money to spend when its such a trying time economically. You all are true heroes!
The process was temporarily held up because of scheduling issues for the heart catheterization. But, it did get completed, along with the CT scan as I mentioned in the previous post. Everything has checked out perfect and the teams here have signed off. My updated OR time is 9:00. The team will be procuring the organ at the same time that I will be getting prepped and anesthetized in the OR here.
Update June 21 8:56 p.m.
Going in. Finalizing all questions and consents. Everyone is lining up to come into the room to go through their spiel. Then I will go in. Thanks for all of the support and well wishes and donations today! “
Brandon is doing really well this morning. His blood pressure is a little high so they’re treating that. They took him off sedation to check that he can follow commands and he could so he’s okay neurologically. Breathing tube is out. He’s asking questions like what day it is and how the surgery went. He’s of course in a lot of pain, not just because of the incision, but also because of the chest tubes. Several of the nurses have remarked about how well he is doing, and one even said you can’t tell he had an LVAD, previous transplant, and an antibody mediated rejection by how well everything looks so far. So hopefully things keep going this well!
Brandon is up walking with a beautiful view of Beverly Hills! The P.T. Tech said some transplant patients haven’t even had the breathing tube out after 24 hours and he’s up walking a little after 24 hours.