PETER MCDONNELL is an unlikely candidate for a miracle: a heart transplant.
The 46-year-old from the northern city of Tuktoyaktuk, in Alaska, has been a patient at the University of Alaska Anchorage since November last year, when he suffered a stroke and could not speak.
He could not breathe on his own.
But after a year and a half, he had managed to start breathing on his feet.
And on Friday, his heart finally began beating again.
After receiving his second heart transplant, McKinnon will be the first in his family to have one.
“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said.
“I don’t know how to describe it.
I don’t want to give myself any credit.
I just know I’ve done everything I can to try to make it as easy as possible for Peter to have this wonderful life.”
McKinnon was the first patient from a poor, rural area in Canada to be given a heart, and the first to be transplanted in the US, after a woman in the Midwest received a transplant from a nurse.
The heart was the only organ transplant to go through the University College Hospital of Minnesota (UH-Minn), and McKinnon’s transplant took place on Saturday.
It is the first time a heart has been successfully transplanted from the United States to another country.
McKinnon said he felt a little anxious the first day of the procedure.
But it felt good.
“You feel so proud of yourself, you feel like a hero,” he told the Associated Press.
McKampers heart was already so strong and alive, and so alive he was not worried about his survival.
“We didn’t have any fears at all,” he added.
“Everything was going well, we were fine.
” McKinnon has spent the past year caring for his two young children. “
He said he is thankful for the hospital, his extended family and his wife, Lisa, who is also an orthopaedic surgeon. “
McKinnon has spent the past year caring for his two young children.
“They’re the best thing that has happened to me. “
As a nurse, I’ve been so grateful for them,” he explained.
But he admitted to having “some doubts” about the transplant process. “
There are so many people that have gone through this experience, and I’m so thankful for them.”
But he admitted to having “some doubts” about the transplant process.
“For some reason, I was so nervous,” he admitted.
“At first I didn’t know why I was nervous, but after a few days I just realised that I was.”
McKamperson said he was excited to have his new heart, but he was also a little nervous about it.
“Even when it’s good, it still hurts,” he laughed.
“But it’s a good thing to know that I am alive.”
McKamping said he feels lucky to be alive.
“A lot of people, I feel like, think, ‘Well, I have no reason to live’,” he said, “so I just want to make sure that I live.”
He said it was a relief to have a heart that was not diseased, and that he feels he is doing a good job of keeping it healthy.
“The doctors have been really good,” he concluded.
“In the beginning I had a really hard time with the surgery, and it was tough for me, but now it’s gone really well.”