Farmington Hills man shares heart transplant journey

Farmington Voice | Joni Hubred-Golden

Gid Tinn visits Starbucks in downtown Farmington a little over a month after receiving a new heart.

The message appeared on Farmington Hills resident Gideon Tinn’s Facebook page mid-afternoon on June 18:

“OK, folks, it’s go time.”

Admitted to Henry Ford Hospital early that morning, Tinn had been waiting for surgeons to replace his failing heart. As he got settled and signed reams of documents, doctors tested, harvested, and transported the donated organ.

He doesn’t – and may never – know the donor’s identity. But a day after surgery, Tinn woke up with a strong, new heart beating inside his chest.

‘The heart kept getting weaker’

Tinn’s journey to his “second birthday” started about 30 years ago, when doctors discovered that myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy, had damaged the left ventricle of his heart.

“It’s slow moving, but it’s still destructive,” said Tinn, who grew up in Farmington Hills and is a Farmington Public Schools graduate. “Over time, the heart kept getting weaker.”

Symptoms began in his 20s; his heart would beat “irregularly and extremely fast,” causing dizziness. Tests showed his left ventricle was moving blood about half as well as it should have been. Continue reading