You never know how decisions you make in life can affect people, decades later.
Such is the case of Ben McCallister. A brief synopsis of his story entitled, How One Man’s Vision Helped Save Another Man’s Life, can be seen in the October 11, 2010 edition of Time Magazine.
According to the article, “In June 2009, Ted Hodges, a healthy junior at Notre Dame, almost died. But thanks to Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute-an organization that Dr. McCallister helped envision more than two decades ago-Ted barely missed a beat”.
A respiratory infection quickly turned into heart failure. Time was of the essence because Ted’s life was quickly ebbing away. Fortunately Ted’s father, a physician, had completed his medical training in Kansas City. He contacted Dr. McCallister, who at one time was his mentor.
Shortly thereafter, his son Ted was transported via airplane to Saint Luke’s. He was immediately placed on an extended life support system with advanced technology. In addition two mechanical pumps were utilized to act in the place of his failing heart.
Even though it was a very dangerous situation, he survived. On August 9 of this year he was placed on the heart transplant list. And miraculously on September 15 he became a recipient of a new heart.
It was because of Ben McCallister’s vision long ago that Kansas City proudly boasts of its only heart transplant program at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute.
Ted is one of 435 recipients to get a new lease on life. St. Luke’s is now considered one of the top places for heart transplants in the nation. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Best wishes to Ted and all other heart transplant recipients.
And thank you Dr. McCallister for your vision in making this service become a reality. You are without question an American Hero.
Times Magazine, October 11, 2010 edition, page 18