After heart transplant, runner hopes to go the distance

Waited for transplant at Mayo Clinic for 180 days during pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A long-time marathon runner received a heart transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville this year.

Terry Collier, who shared his experience on The Morning Show on Saturday, said he first found out he needed a heart transplant in 2018.

“My condition was originally shortness of breath,” Collier said. “My buddy took me in to Emory in Atlanta for a check-up and after that, they realized there were some complications to my heart, in my left ventricle. They ran a test and realized I had a heart attack.”

Roughly two years later, he received his new heart after spending 180 days at the Mayo Clinic during the pandemic.

“I got admitted to Mayo in February of this year and at the same time, the pandemic hit,” Collier said. “The safety was, is and has been Mayo’s No. 1 priority, so I was not concerned about my safety and spending 180 days waiting for that third try, it’s worth it because I’m sitting here today.”

Collier said he feels like a “million dollar bill” and hopes to run the Grand Canyon Marathon next year.

“Now that I have the new heart, the main thing I want to do if it is allowed is to meet the donor family and set up a meeting with them,” Collier said. “But my main goal as a runner, I ran the Grand Canyon when I was 40 years old and my goal is to run it again, and that’s my goal by the end of 2021.”

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