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Kevin Spencer

Heart Transplant - 09-1992 & 03/2011

On April 1955 Kevin was born at St. Luke’s episcopal hospital. The pediatrician that Kevin‘s mother used, gave Kevin his two day well check and told his mother, after listening to his heart; “this one will have a rough road to hold!” Kevin was born with a heart defect!

Kevin’s parents would bring him to Pediatric Cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital. He was a patient of Dr. Dan G. McNamara, who believed Kevin had a hole in between his lower chambers of his heart. When Kevin was five Dr. Denton Cooley was going to repair the defect. He was to discover that Kevin had transposition of the great vessels with a large aorta. There was no repair possible at the time.

Two years later Dr. Cooley would perform a Blalock anastomosis, left side. Kevin would have, even to this day, a weak pulse in his left arm due to the procedure. With medication and 3 different surgeries Kevin would receive, from having the left Blalock. Dr. Cooley would perform these surgeries on Kevin to help improve his oxygen infusion to his blood flow. Kevin’s heart surgeries were at ages 5, 7, 8, 15 and 23.

When Kevin was in his early 30s he started having problems with his heart. From 1987 to 1991 Kevin was still a patient of pediatric cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital, and having attacks of arrhythmia and coming to the hospital to be cardio-converted.

On September 16, 1992 Kevin had a heart transplant performed by Dr. O. H. Fraser. It took Kevin until February 1993, before he recovered enough to see and feel the results of having a good healthy heart. He could for the first time in his life be physically able to do many physical demanding things, so Kevin was very active with volunteer work at his church. It was here he met a young widow and the two were married in March 1995. (Kelly’s husband had died of a heart attack at age 41 when their daughter was just four months old.)
Kevin, Kelly and her two-year-old daughter Christina started a life together. Kevin was able to go back to work and make a living. He was able to re-train and became an aircraft mechanic working on helicopters.

In December 2008, Kevin started having problems with heart arrhythmia and feeling generally weak. It was determined after certain procedures didn’t produce the desired result, that he needed another heart transplant! So Kevin was back on disability and waiting for another heart for the second time in his life. This time within the care of Dr. Pranav Loyalka, Kevin was on the list for 16 months. During that time Kevin had a pic line and Kelly had to help him change the medication every day.

On March 28, 2011 Dr. O.H. Fraser performed another heart transplant on Kevin. Kevin recovered and went home in April 2011.

Kevin is enjoying life as best as possible. He takes 1-2 mile walks some days depending on the extreme weather. He spends a lot of time reading, building Star Wars models and drawing pictures of all types of aviation freehand. He also loves flying his simulator all over the world on their computer.

Kevin‘s parents were told when he was five that he most likely wouldn’t live to see 12, but by the will of the Lord and using the medical technology at TCH and St Lukes medical center, Kevin is able to live a good healthy life!

He has not been able to return to work because he is in kidney failure since 2014 and he’s under the care of a kidney specialist regularly. This is mostly due to the heart medicines he’s been on his whole life! With medication he’s been able to hold fairly stable.

Kevin and Kelly are looking forward to the birth of their first grandson in May 2021!

Gratitude: