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Department of Surgery News Archive

March 2018


Heart-transplant recipient Brad Keefer (right) with his wife, Stephanie Eigenberg


Father receives new heart for Valentine's Day

Brad Keefer was born with an abnormal heart valve. That didn’t stop him from becoming a husband, father, and even a young grandfather, but by his mid-40’s, he was struggling with increasingly poor health and was told he needed a heart transplant. He wrestled with feelings of guilt—"Why do I deserve it and not somebody else?"—but his family encouraged him to get on the transplant list.

This February, a donor heart became available, and Brad received a transplant at University of Colorado Hospital.

"My life just started over last week—that's the way I look at it," Keefer says. "So I'm going to do everything in my power to keep it going and honor the person that gave me this."

According to Dr. Muhammad Aftab, patients who receive heart transplants today can look forward to longer life and better health thanks to medical advances of recent years. "Currently our patients have really extraordinary life expectancy and quality of life after heart transplantation," he says. "And we are talking in terms of decades."

Watch the video on the Denver 7 ABC news site.