Lower Makefield heart recipient helps those awaiting and recovering from life-saving surgery

Jeffrey Marsh, 16 months on a transplant waiting list, needed more than just a new heart.

He had lots of questions, and as the months tick on, he has more. "When you're on the list this long, you have more to think about," said Marsh, 49, of Hamburg in Berks County.

He asked his caregivers at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania if they knew a recent transplantee who could discuss experiences such as medication and recovery time.

"These doctors may have done (heart transplant surgery), but they've never had it done to them," said Marsh.

HUP staff knew somebody, the same person who had helped other candidates through the difficult decision to undergo radical surgery, and those who were recuperating from it. Bill Soloway of Lower Makefield uses his personal experience to help more than two dozen people in this situation.

Now two years out from his own heart transplant, Soloway got in the habit of visiting the cardiac wards at HUP where he had been a patient. He volunteered to speak to those headed for transplant surgery or, like Marsh, on the list and waiting. He lobbies to recruit more organ donors. Continue reading

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