Tri-State sees 1st heart transplant since 2008

Posted at 9:31 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 21:31:57-05

CINCINNATI — After months of uncertainty, a Hillsboro man has a new heart, beating on its own. Just weeks ago, David Waits doubted it would ever happen.

But thanks to a program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Waits received a second chance at life, receiving the first heart transplant performed in Cincinnati since 2008 after suffering a massive heart attack a year ago.

“I really don’t remember a few weeks ago before the transplant,” Waits said. “I just already gave up.”

Doctors said during a news conference Wednesday that Waits, 50, would not have been a candidate for such a procedure as recently as just a decade ago.

“Cincinnati, with over 3 million people in its general population, as well as portions of Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia now have mechanical therapies that did not exist before,” one doctor on Waits’ case said during the news conference.

Now, Waits and his wife Carol and their family are looking forward to the future.

When asked where he goes from here, Waits simply said with a chuckle, “Home.”

Hear more from Waits and his family in the video player above.