Following Heart Transplant

By John Piotrowski

After suffering for over 20 years from a heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, I finally underwent a heart transplant at the age of 50, on June 11, 2012. Though the transplant was successful, the aftermath left me with foot drop in my left foot, a gait abnormality in which dropping occurs in the forefoot due to nerve damage. After being told that the nerve damage I suffered would be a permanent ailment for the rest of my life, I had lost all hope that I would never be able to walk normally again.

That was, until, I decided to meet with Dr. Leavitt, for one final opinion. My consultation with Dr. Leavitt was the first time I was given an ounce of hope. He believed I was a candidate for foot drop surgery that would, at the least, relieve my pain and get my foot on the ground. Not only did Dr. Leavitt ease my pain, but he miraculously helped me to walk completely normal again. In a matter of three short recovery months, I was able to put my walker aside and throw my brace in the trash. Today, I am going to the gym, walking my dog, and playing golf even better than I was prior to my heart transplant. Dr. Leavitt and my donor were able to give me my life back, and I owe both my happiness and health to them.


Dear Dr. Leavitt,

It was so nice to hear from you again. I can't believe a year has passed since my surgery. I Am humbled to know that you are displaying my testimonial in your office. I am hoping new patients are reading it and realizing what an amazing surgeon you truly are. After reading my story, I am confident patients will no longer face hesitation about their own surgery.

In the past year, I have been very active. Not only do I regularly go to the gym, but, I was able to play a great deal of golf and tennis with my two children this past summer. In addition, we are planning to walk in multiple 5K "Heart Walks" in the upcoming year.

Again, words cannot express how grateful I am to you for giving me my life back.

John Piotrowski, 52