Local pastor with heart transplant to compete globally to help others in need

ABC 11 | Stephanie Lopez

RALEIGH (WTVD) --  A local pastor is pushing himself to the limit after receiving a heart transplant almost 12 years ago. Brian Barndt, returned to his life-long love of swimming and he's getting ready to compete in the 2017 World Transplant Games.

Another person's heart beats in Barndt's chest - it's what keeps him swimming - literally and metaphorically.

"It was either going to be a transplant surgery, or I wasn't going to live," Barndt said.

He's a pastor at the Grey Stone Church in Durham and aquatics were his life since childhood. He swam for UNC Wilmington, until he found himself treading water when his heart began to fail. He had cardiomyopathy - weakening the muscle.

"Most cardiomyopathies progressed to the point that, without a heart transplant within a short number of days or weeks, the other organs in the body would start shutting down, and the patient would die,"Chetan Patel, Barndt's doctor and medical director of heart transplant program at Duke University Hospital, said. Continue reading

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