Photo: Rahn Bentley, 50, of Kentwood describes how it felt when he woke up with a new heart during a press conference Tuesday at Spectrum Health Hospital as Cardiothoracic Surgeon Ashgar Khaghani, left, and Cardiologist Dr. Michael Dickinson, right, listen. Bentley became Spectrum's first heart transplant when he received the heart of Ada Township resident Tim Korzen in an eight hour operation at Spectrum Health's Meijer Heart Center.
“It's amazing that it's here,” Bentley said of the Transplant Games, scheduled for July 28-31 at Grand Valley State University. “It's like another miracle for me because I get to be in these games right here.
“I get to aid in spreading the awareness. I'll do anything I can to help the organ donation scene.”
Bentley, a proud supporter of organ donation registration since receiving the gift of life at Spectrum Health's Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center downtown almost 18 months ago, is one of 600-800 transplant recipients expected to compete in several events. The registration deadline is Thursday.
Bentley, 51, is entering the golf and men's doubles tennis competitions.
“I got a new heart, so I'm able to do something like this,” he said of the Transplant Games. “When you have something like that happen in your life, you want to give back and help as many people as possible to increase awareness and share with other people the gift that I got. I just like to compete.