October 25, 2015 |
James Wagstaff-Duncan's heart was about to give up. The organ was dangerously enlarged and surrounded with extra fluid. It pumped about one-tenth as efficiently as the heart of a healthy person. At age 28, he was unable to take four steps without feeling short of breath. But physicians at Temple University Hospital said he could not get a new heart for one of the very reasons his old one was failing: He weighed 480 pounds. His case presents a vexing dilemma from the frontier of the U.S. obesity epidemic.
August 5, 2015 |
Kennedy Cunningham was one step ahead of her father, Steve, at DSG Boxing Gym one afternoon last month. While Cunningham, a 39-year-old heavyweight from Philadelphia, changed into his workout spandex, his 9-year-old daughter pulled on big red gloves and threw them at a punching bag. While Steve had his hands taped, Kennedy stepped into the ring and playfully sparred with her 4-year-old brother, Cruz. Cruz backed her into a corner, and she fought her way out, squinting and smiling.
December 7, 2014 |
STEVE CUNNINGHAM has won 28 professional fights, is a two-time IBF cruiserweight world champion and only 2 months ago defended his USBA heavyweight belt. The Philadelphia boxer's daughter won a much bigger battle yesterday. Kennedy Cunningham, 9, who since birth has had a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, had a successful heart transplant yesterday at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Kennedy's story has garnered national attention since it was shared on the NBC Sports Network's telecast of Cunningham's April victory over Amir Mansour at the Liacouras Center.
October 17, 2014 |
ANY MOMENT now, Steve Cunningham and his wife, Livvy, could get the call. It's been that way throughout Cunningham's latest training camp. It remains the reality during the lead-up to the Philadelphia heavyweight's fight Saturday night. "The doctor has called us four times in the past month and a half and said, 'We almost called you last night,' " Cunningham, 38, said after a workout last week. Cunningham's 9-year-old daughter, Kennedy, awaits a lifesaving heart transplant.
March 28, 2014 |
Robert Goodman says a new heart hasn't made him a new man. Not yet, anyway. "I haven't quite gotten to the point of waking up every day and saying, 'I'm glad I'm alive,' although I do think about that," says the Westampton resident, 62. "I'm more amazed that I was almost dead, and nobody really knew it. Not even me. " Goodman, who's married and has a daughter in college, is a longtime runner and fitness buff. He wanted to avoid the fate of his dad, who died of a heart attack, at 50, "five months before my bar mitzvah.
March 10, 2014 |
As a junior at Georgetown University in 2006, Brynn Marks was in the best shape of her life. She had been training regularly with the softball team in preparation for their inaugural varsity season. But in February of that year, Marks, who grew up in Havertown and Media and cocaptained the softball team at Episcopal Academy, caught a terrible cold. At night, she couldn't lie flat on her back and was unable to sleep. The team doctor referred her to a pulmonologist at Georgetown University Hospital.
February 16, 2014 |
Theirs is not the kind of medical history anyone wants. The grandchildren of George Melling hope others can learn from the trail of death and damaged hearts that runs through their family tree. Four cousins - the children of two of George's daughters - died decades ago when their hearts stopped suddenly. Two were teenagers; another was 22 years old. When one of the mothers developed heart problems, a Johns Hopkins University doctor began looking for inherited heart defects in other family members and readily found them.
December 3, 2013 |
Derek Fitzgerald played baritone horn in the marching band at North Penn High School, and his father ran the music program at Bensalem High. Visiting his father one day, Derek "saw the girls in color guard in spandex. " LeeAnn in particular looked very cute. Derek visited a lot more often, soon dating LeeAnn. They attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, got married. But then, Derek, at age 30, got cancer in 2003. He survived, but chemotherapy ruined his heart. In 2011, too weak to lift his head off a pillow, he got a heart transplant.
February 22, 2013 |
IT WAS 1985, Ernie Schiff had just gotten a new heart - his was the fifth such transplant in Philadelphia - and his wife wanted to know what was next. "The coordinator handed me a big book," said Anne Schiff, now 82. "I didn't understand anything about the book. I said, 'You know, I think we should start a group.' And I said, 'Let's call it Second Chance.' Because that's exactly what it was. " Twenty-eight years and nearly 2,500 heart transplants later, Second Chance quietly continues its same dual mission: support for patients who want to know what will happen to them and fundraising to help them afford it. It has expanded from Temple University Hospital, then the local pioneer, to the three other general hospitals in Philly that now do heart transplants - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University Hospital.
April 4, 2012
Cheney released with new heart WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital Tuesday, 10 days after getting a new heart, his office said. Cheney, 71, received the organ March 24 from an unknown donor at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va. "As he leaves the hospital, the former vice president and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor's family for this remarkable gift," aide Kara Ahern said in a statement.