Poughkeepsie Journal | Chris ValdezRHINEBECK — Watching his daughter grow up. Helping her compete in sports. Guiding her down the aisle on her wedding day.
Alan Coon wasn’t sure he would be able to experience these milestones of life after receiving his first heart transplant May 24, 1987, at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh. His daughter, Allyson, wasn’t even 2 yet.
Though the transplant saved his life, the odds against him seeing Allyson’s seventh birthday were steep.
“The only way to describe it is that I’m really the luckiest person on the face of the Earth,” said Coon, 66. “Over the last 25 years, I’ve made the best with what I have.”
Coon’s long, active life defies the odds.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, 67.1 percent of transplant recipients from 1988 (the first year of data) survived for five years and 45.62 percent lived for a decade.
Coon has even outlived the data. UNOS stops keeping survival rates after 10 years because those survivors are less statistically significant because their deaths often are not associated with the transplant. Dr. Edward Philbin, Coon’s doctor since 2004, said his chance for survival was further diminished because he underwent two operations.
Read more: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20120522/NEWS01/305220013/-Really-luckiest-person-Man-marks-25th-year-after-heart-transplant