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“I received a gift:” United Airlines CEO reminds of heart transplant

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz had just stopped practicing at home when his knees pushed. He remembers to think, "That was weird." But he recalled the words of a doctor's friend who had warned him not to ignore seemingly odd symptoms that could indicate heart problems. Munoz called 911. He then broke his nose to unlock the front door to allow the paramedics to enter. A few months later, in January 2016, Munoz had a new heart beating his chest. Munoz operates one of the world's largest airlines. But on Monday, 59-year-olds were not at United's Chicago headquarters or on a level. He sat with others who had also undergone heart transplants at the Northwest Memorial Hospital. They gathered as Northwestern doctors announced that this year they have broken the record to carry out most of the heart transplants ever in a Illinois hospital in a year. With less than two weeks left in 201 8, doctors have transplanted 54 hearts this year, spending past records of 45 heart transplants established by the Rush University Medical Center in 1995, according to Northwestern. "The achievement is a reflection (there) there are more patients in Chicago who get the type of care they should be receiving," says Dr.. Allen Anderson, Medical Director of the Center for Heart Failure at Northwestern's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. Illinois Hospital has performed 167 heart transplants this year – up from 139 last year – according to the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency procurement and…

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz had just stopped practicing at home when his knees pushed.

He remembers to think, “That was weird.” But he recalled the words of a doctor’s friend who had warned him not to ignore seemingly odd symptoms that could indicate heart problems.

Munoz called 911. He then broke his nose to unlock the front door to allow the paramedics to enter.

A few months later, in January 2016, Munoz had a new heart beating his chest.

Munoz operates one of the world’s largest airlines. But on Monday, 59-year-olds were not at United’s Chicago headquarters or on a level. He sat with others who had also undergone heart transplants at the Northwest Memorial Hospital. They gathered as Northwestern doctors announced that this year they have broken the record to carry out most of the heart transplants ever in a Illinois hospital in a year.

With less than two weeks left in 201

8, doctors have transplanted 54 hearts this year, spending past records of 45 heart transplants established by the Rush University Medical Center in 1995, according to Northwestern.

“The achievement is a reflection (there) there are more patients in Chicago who get the type of care they should be receiving,” says Dr.. Allen Anderson, Medical Director of the Center for Heart Failure at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

Illinois Hospital has performed 167 heart transplants this year – up from 139 last year – according to the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency procurement and transplantation networks. Nationwide, doctors have performed more than 3,100 heart transplants so far this year.

In recent years, it has become easier to get the donor hearts, Allen said. This is partly because the number of people who die of opioid overdoses increases and a result of changes in the national system for organizational distribution. Even people with hepatitis C can now be organ donors thanks to progress in the ability to cure the disease.

However, the demand for hearts continues to extend over the supply. In Illinois, 215 people are waiting for cardiac transplants.

Dr. Duc Thinh Pham, the Northwestern Center’s surgical director, called Donate a Heart “the most selfless decision anyone could make.”

Munoz said he is not yet familiar with his heartbreaker, but he hopes that one day. “Three years ago, I was here and I received a gift of essentially life, “Munoz told a press conference.

Munoz’s heart problem came as a surprise to him. He was marathon runner, triathlete and vegan.

“That’s why symptoms mean so much,” said Munoz. “It’s Genetic in Many People, and It Was With Me”.

After the heart attack in October 2015, Munoz was in a coma for about a week and received a type of pump known as a left ventricular auxiliary device. He was finally added to the list of people waiting for the hearts.

In the morning of his birthday in January 2016, Anderson, with Northwestern, called him.

“Everyone rang and said,” We have a kick-ass heart for you, “Munoz recalls.

He went to work in the morning of his transplant and attended a meeting. At lunch he apologized from the office . His co-workers did not know he was on his way to Northwestern for the transplant.

“As a public company CEO, I went through the complete confidentiality – you must know that you have to tell everything to everyone, to think of my family and my wife and Munoz.

Munoz’s recovery went smoothly and he returned as CEO in March 2016. But he does not know everyone is so lucky.

“For each of us saved by the things we heard if today, unfortunately there are many who are not, “said Munoz. This is part of the reason he traveled the world and told his story since the transplant, to raise awareness of signs of heart attacks.

” I do not think that i will ever be tr tired of telling this story and, more importantly, I will never be tired of thanking people, “said Munoz.

A number of other cardiac transplant patients also shared their stories on Monday to help the North West celebrate the milestone.

Ralph Nuti, from St. Charles said he could barely walk 20 meters before receiving the same type of pump as Munoz and finally a heart transplant three months ago. Nuti, 61, said he is now enjoying his grown-up children and young grandchildren.

“Before I was sitting in a chair and I could not do much with them,” says Nuti. “Now we go to the arboretum to see the candle and we take my elder out to shop.”

It is a life-changing operation for those undergoing it, said Anderson.

“There are no perfect therapies in this world, but for the right people (heart transplant) is a proven therapy that allows people to return to their lives,” Anderson says. . “It may be to play with their grandchildren, watch their children marry or run a Fortune 500 company.”

The hospital with the next highest number of cardiac transplants this year was the University of Chicago Medical Center with 38. Loyola University Medical Center had 28.

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