TMSG: Life Lived One Heartbeat At A Time - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

TMSG: Life Lived One Heartbeat At A Time


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- It's Monday morning at Meridian Mall and 83-year-old Ed Fitzpatrick, is walking.

"How many steps typically? Monday, Wednesday and Friday, over 10,000 to 12,000. And I don't walk as rapidly as I used to, but I can get there," he says, while walking the mall.

Getting there makes all the difference because when you walk a mile in this man's shoes, you just might catch a glimpse of his heart.

"We all know we're gonna die. It's just a matter of when's your time, so I wasn't concerned about that, and I'm still not," said Ed.

But 15 years ago, the end seemed inevitably close: Ed's heart was failing.

"I couldn't go up and down the stairs to our bedroom. I was sleeping in a recliner in a living room," he remembers.

After countless trips to the hospital, and several heart attacks, the only option left, was a heart transplant.

"You don't know how long or if you will actually find a heart," Ed said.

Luckily for Ed, a new heart arrived within days. 15 years later, that borrowed heart, means borrowed time.

"I still have my bucket list of things that have to be done."

Even after all this time, he's still amazed his chest contains another man's heart.

"We will not only survive, we will prevail. And I've got the feeling, I am prevailing."

Three words in particular sum up the feelings inside that new heart. "Humility. Amazement. Gratitude."

Because when you get another chance at life, you learn one of life's greatest lessons.

"Every day is a gift for all of us, whether you've got a heart transplant or not," he said.

Ed Fitzpatrick was the 109th heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic in 1998, a national record at the time. He says he wouldn't be here today without the support of his loving wife Nancee, a woman he's been married to for 52 years strong.

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