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Saturday, April 9, 2016

A long journey home

Loveland Reporter Herald |. Shelley 
Randy Marlow, left, gets a hug from longtime friend Thomas Strazza, right, from Glenwood Springs. Family and friends gathered Saturday afternoon in Loveland to welcome Marlow home after he spent nearly 670 days at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., waiting for and then recovering from a double-organ transplant. (Michael Brian / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

Randy Marlow of Loveland welcomed home Saturday after spending nearly 670 days at the Mayo Clinic for double transplant

Randy Marlow of Loveland spent two birthdays in the Mayo Clinic waiting for a new heart and liver.

He'd spent another birthday — Oct. 17 — there trying to get on the transplant list at a time when he couldn't even walk to the mailbox.

On Saturday, he walked (or more accurately bounced) into his apartment clubhouse with his girlfriend, Lisa Salerno Black, free of an oxygen tank. He bowed and waved as 20 friends and family members clapped and cheered.

He said, "Hey, one at a time," as someone yelled, "He's alive," and then the hugs came for the 48-year-old man who spent nearly 670 days at Saint Mary's Hospital Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Of those days, 575 were awaiting for donor organs.

I'm so happy to be here, to be healthy and to feel good," Marlow said. "It's a miracle. It's amazing, the way I feel, the journey I've taken."

One of the amazing things for Marlow is hearing the beat of his heart, he said.

"It's crazy to be in bed at night, and I can actually hear my heart pounding," Marlow said.

To get the strength of his heart back required a four-year journey, celebrated with a celebration/welcome home party during National Donate Life Month in April. More than 80,000 people are waiting for lifesaving transplants, and every 13 minutes a new name is added to the transplant waiting list. Continue reading
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