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50 Years After First Heart Transplant, Patient Grateful For Advances

​FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – Sunday will be 50 years since the first human heart transplant.

Since then, many advances have been made and many thousands of lives have been saved, including one patient from Fountain who calls every day a blessing.

“Eight years later, I’m still waking up,” said Beth Pritts.
Pritts is grateful every day. Back in 2009, it was touch and go. That June, there were complications during heart valve replacement surgery. At 39 years old, Pritts had what is called stone heart syndrome.
“My heart, just like it sounds, hardened like a stone,” Pritts explained.
At the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), ventricular assist deviceswere implanted to keep Pritts alive.