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James 'Jim' Milton Gibson

Heart Transplant- 09/1996

I have lived in the Greater Houston Area since ‘67. I moved here from Washington State as a registered Civil Engineer and construction specialist. I had a quadruple by-pass in ’74 at the age of 42. Was a “911” call at 5:00 A.M. June 6,’96. The congestive heart failure required a balloon pump.

This was my first problem following a diagnosis that I was “non-operable” by another doctor in late ’95 who forecast I would not live another year. On June 20, I was a “Code Blue” while in 7 South 6, rushed to the OR where the pneumatic LVAD (left ventricle assist device) system was installed. On September 8, 1996, 75 days after the LVAD surgery,

I received the special gift of a 19-year-old heart and became the first patient in the USA equipped with a pacemaker used to monitor biopsy results.

Concluding a 115-day stay in the hospital in late September, I returned to my consulting work and an active life. Since, a mild stroke effected my left eye, skin cancers resulted in the removal of a melanoma on my right shoulder, basil cells from the back of my neck and the end of my nose. Arterial blood clotting in June of 2000 and venal blockage in the right leg twice during the summer of 2001 have happened.


...I have been an active participant in the Heart Exchange Support Group, Inc. (President ‘99-’00). I have been a “Vital Volunteer” for Life Gift (Volunteer of the Year for ’03). Also I have been a volunteer for SLEHS since transplant and a SLEHS Auxiliary Board member as a chairman, the liaison for St. Luke’s Community Medical Center-The Woodlands volunteers since 2002.

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