LACONIA — Heart transplant recepient John Ganong will mark the third year of life with his new heart at a Celebrity Bartender Benefit at the Lobster Pound in Weirs Beach on Saturday, January 4 at 7 p.m.
It all started on March 18th, 2003, when congestive heart failure hit John and open heart surgery was performed at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester. It consisted of two valve replacements and repair of an aneurism on the aorta.
A few days later, the hospital installed a pacemaker to adjust the actual heartbeat.
The next six-and-a-half years went by pretty smoothly until the left side of John's heart got so weak it pretty much collapsed. This was in December of 2009.
John went to Catholic Medical Center again where they shipped him by ambulance to Tuft's Medical Center in Boston. They installed a heart pump to the left side of his heart which was run by batteries and a computer, all on a vest which he wore 24/7. The same type of pump, the "Heart Mate," is being used by former Vice-President, Dick Cheney. At this point, John got on the list for a transplant.
On January 3, 2011, John got the phone call about his transplant at 7 p.m. He got in his car, with his wife Brenda, to drive down to Tufts, calling the family on the way to tell them the news.
The transplant was a success and today John says he feels better and better.
The donations John collects as celebrity bartender at The Lobster Pound will all go to the Cardiac Transplant Division at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
Ganong says he would like to say "Thank You" to all his friends, family, doctors and nurses who have supported and helped him over the past ten years and he invites all to this joyous occasion in helping celebrate the third year of his new life.
Any and all types of donations would be greatly appreciated, and would be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Cardiac Division of Tufts Medical Center. Ganong will personally pick up any donations. Last year this same event raised $1,850 for the Cardiac Division in just 2.5 hours. Call (603) 393-5590 to donate.