Ryan Gammon, Patient Waiting
Life on Hold While Waiting for a Heart
Posted November 18, 2014
Ryan Gammon has been waiting since July 2011. A heart transplant is the only thing that will save the 24-year-old’s life. The clock is ticking.
Ryan was diagnosed with acute heart failure in November 2010. After several doctor’s visits, chest pain, a “code blue” in a heart catheterization lab, Ryan’s heart needed a heart pump. He was eventually added to the transplant waiting list in July 2011.
Since then, he and his wife welcomed a little boy into the world. Ryan’s wife is attending school to become a nurse while he waits for a transplant. She stayed at their Fort Smith, Arkansas home with their son while Ryan relocated to the MTS Family House in St. Louis. His doctors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital suggested he be closer to St. Louis after his Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) malfunctioned.
“Ryan’s day is coming, I know that,” said Barbara Gammon, Ryan’s mother. “We’re another day coser. And that’s a good way to think about it. Instead of thinking we’ve been waiting for three-and-a-half years, it’s easier to think today is another day closer than we were yesterday. Sometimes, I need to think that just to get through the day.”
Today, Ryan sees his wife and son once or twice a month. A heart transplant will give him a second chance to be a father to his son. “Swimming was one of my favorite things to do,” Ryan said. “I look forward to running outside and swimming with him.”