Not missing a beat: Riceville man celebrates 32nd anniversary of heart transplant


RICEVILLE — Tuesday was the 32nd anniversary of Larry Abel’s second chance at life.

The 72-year-old Riceville resident received a heart transplant on May 17, 1984.

Abel, who was principal at Riceville High School from 1987 until his retirement in 2001, believes he is one of the world’s longest-living heart transplant recipients.

A man in England who died in February, 33 years after a heart transplant, was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest survivor of that procedure.

“I’ve been very fortunate and very blessed,” Abel said.

Abel began having heart problems in April 1981 while he was the activities director at Ackley-Geneva High School. Continue reading
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