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Trager Transplant Center and University of Louisville Achieve 500th Heart Transplant

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The Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center and the University of Louisville marked an important milestone – the 500th heart transplant at the hospital since the heart transplant program began there nearly 35 years ago.

The 500th transplant was performed on a 59-year-old man who had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted to support his heart until the donor heart was available for transplant.

The first heart transplant at the hospital, which was also the first in Kentucky, took place in 1984. The surgery, which took seven hours, was groundbreaking at the time.

“Five-hundred hearts is much more than a milestone,” said Ronald Waldridge II, MD, president of Jewish Hospital. “It represents the life-changing impact on our patients, their families and the entire region. Together, with UofL, Jewish Hospital’s Trager Transplant Center is investing in research, technology and advanced procedures to increase access to transplant services.”

The 500th heart transplant and other milestones wouldn’t have been reached without organ donors, noted David Lewis, director of Transplant Services at the Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center. “Knowing that we have helped save 500 people in need of a new heart is a wonderful feeling, and it would not be possible without the donors and their families,” said Lewis.