Long Journey Leads Patient to UMMC for Heart Transplant

Dan Scott of Windsor Mill, MD had quite the journey to Baltimore. Dan was born in Colorado with only one kidney and a congenital heart defect known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A hit in the stomach at five years old sent Dan into kidney failure, and at 14 years old he received a kidney transplant. His father served as a living donor.

During his first semester at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC, Dan fell into congestive heart failure as a result of his heart condition. Dan’s cardiologist in Colorado recommended that he leave college as a result of his failing health, but Dan was determined to earn his degree. After spending several weeks in the hospital during his final semester, Dan graduated and immediately boarded a plane to Ohio to undergo a septal myectomy at a hospital in Cleveland. At the time, Dan’s cardiologist believed that the procedure was his only option for recovery.  

It was Dan’s search for a job as a teacher that eventually brought him to Baltimore. Eight years after moving to the Baltimore area, his cardiologist at University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) informed him that he would need a heart transplant. He began meeting with the transplant team at UMMC. Dan had been told that the team at UMMC was expert at handling complicated transplant cases, like patients who had received more than one organ transplant.

Dan finally did receive a new heart, and the surgery went well. But like any major life-saving surgery, recovery was slow. He was in the hospital for three months, and during that time he would see other patients walking by his room on their way to returning to a normal life. He felt as if he’d never get there. It was the encouragement of his friends, family, nurses, and therapists that helped get Dan well enough to go home. Dan began therapy at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute and finally began to see results and hit milestones.

Now, Dan is on the road to picking up where his life left off before his heart transplant. He works part-time, spends his spare time at the gym, and volunteers occasionally at The Living Legacy Foundation (LLF) of Maryland. At the LLF, he is able to share his story of not one, but two successful organ transplants, and sing the praises of the all the people who helped change his life. He says it is hard for non-transplant patients to understand how a recipient feels about a donor who has given them a heart or a kidney to prolong their life, but Dan is looking forward to honoring the gift for many years to come.