Tampa Bay Tribune | Paul Guzzo
Glen Frank Spurlin of Lakeland counts many benchmarks in the past 30 years of his life.
He attended the college graduations and weddings of both his sons.
He bought a vacation home so deep in the North Carolina woods he can sit and watch bear cubs play. He has welcomed five grandchildren into the world, spoiling each of them as grandparents do.
“I’ve collected lots of memories,” said Spurlin, 73. “I am thankful. An argument can be made I shouldn’t be here.” It was 30 years ago this month that Spurlin underwent heart transplant surgery. No heart transplant patient in Florida and few worldwide — international records are hard to verify — have lived so long afterward.
On June 21, 1985, doctors at Tampa General Hospital estimated Spurlin had just hours to live unless he underwent a procedure considered so radical at the time that it bordered on science fiction. Continue reading