Adam Burkhart’s transplant inspires others to donate

Times Recorder | Kate Snyder

Adam Burkhart holds his 1-year-old daughter, Mattyn, in their Zanesville home nearly 15 years after he received a heart transplant. “I was 17 when I had (the transplant), and in a few years, I’ll have had my transplanted heart as long as I had the one I was born with,” Burkhart said. His story inspired other local families to become organ donors. (Photo: Shane Flanigan/Times Recorder)

ZANESVILLE — Eighty-eight percent of heart transplant patients survive the first year after the transplant.

After five years, the survival rate drops to 75 percent. After 10 years, it’s 56 percent.

On Monday, Adam Burkhart will celebrate 15 years with his new heart, and he feels even better than he did back then.

“Physically, I feel as good as 20 years ago,” he said.

A transplanted heart ages roughly twice as fast as an original, Adam said, and as time passes, the signs will begin to show as increased blood pressure or increased cholesterol.

None of those signs have appeared yet. Adam has yearly check-ups in Columbus, and he said his doctors have told him his tests so far are phenomenal. He’s active. He can keep up with his two daughters, ages 2 and 1. He and his family just moved into a new house. Continue reading