NFT Patient Nate Gunderson Receives Heart Transplant

July 13, 2009

NFT patient Nate Gunderson, a 31-year-old Washington resident, was always a healthy, active man. One morning in April, Nate awoke with a migraine. After four days of migraines, fevers and body aches, he was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis. Another procedure showed a cluster of bacteria around his heart that was affecting every organ of his body and causing mini-strokes.

Although Nate suffered from a heart murmur since birth, it was not until the onset of this infection that doctors discovered the bacteria around his heart had eaten a hole through one of his heart valves. With every heartbeat, 50 percent of the blood was falling back into the heart chamber. Just a few days later, Nate endured three hours of surgery while his heart valve was replaced with a St. Jude’s valve. Sadly a week later, things took a turn for the worse when doctors discovered a massive sac of fluid surrounding his heart.

Doctors told Nate a heart transplant was his only hope for a second chance at life. Fortunately, with his wife Genevieve by his side every step of the way, Nate received his lifesaving heart transplant July 5. Nate looks forward to his new life post-transplant so he can return home to spend time with his young daughter, Mikaela, and return to his active lifestyle.

If you can help Nate and his family with the soaring medical expenses they are facing, click here to make a donation to NFT in his honor. A heart transplant costs more than $750,000. And that’s only the beginning. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Visit NFT’s Web site to learn more about Nate.