Skip to contents
In This Issue:
Editor’s Note: When inpatients moved to the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center July 14, patient David Baugher told BWH Bulletin that he loved his new room but wouldn’t be staying long. He was right.
The news David Baugher has been waiting nine months to hear finally came at 5:30 p.m. on July 21, just as he put the cover on his plate after dinner.
Cardiac surgeon Gregory Couper, MD, rushed in. “He said, ‘Don’t eat anything! We found a donor,’” said Baugher, who has been on the transplant waiting list for a heart since November and at BWH since May when his portable ventricular assist device (VAD) malfunctioned.
Baugher hugged Couper. “I’ve thought about this moment every day for nine months and was in shock that it was actually happening,” he said. “I made some emotional calls to my friends and family.”
Two hours later, he was in the Operating Room, and the heart arrived at midnight. The transplant went smoothly, and, the next morning, Baugher awoke on Shapiro 6 with a new heart.
“It changed me,” he said. “I have a new appreciation for health and a new outlook on life.”
Baugher wants others to understand the importance of organ donation. “There are a lot of us out here who need organs, and there is a shortage,” he said. “It’s just a simple trip to the DMV to get your license checked, and you could save a lot of people’s lives.”
Baugher was discharged last week and returned to Burlington, Vt. He plans to visit friends, resume volunteering at a Vermont hospital and eventually work for a stone mason when he’s well enough. He hopes to get in a round of golf and practice his swing as soon as possible.
“I have to leave the Brigham because it’s time,” he said. “But I have made a lot of friends here.”