Nate Collins of Harrisburg lives with a congenital heart defect. He has had two heart transplants in a little over 20 years.
“From where you last saw us, we were not very excited. We were scared,” Collins said.
Scared because another hospital said no to performing another heart transplant. Before getting sick, Collins and wife Jamie their adopted son, Mason. Soon after, Nate found out he needed a third heart and a kidney, too.
After being rejected from one hospital because of the high risk, Collins reached out to ABC27 to share his story.
“A nurse saw the video I had made with you guys on Twitter. She showed it to the doctor and said you have to see this video,” he said. “Well, he saw the video and said I have to help this guy.”
Collins said that doctor decided to take the risk after a panel agreed. On Jan. 21, he received lifesaving news from Temple University Hospital.
“They called back and said we have a heart and a kidney for you,” he said. “It took 14 hours to do the heart and the kidney.”
Collins is grateful a grieving family chose to give him the gift of life.
“I’m humbled. It’s a gift that you just can’t even — there’s no way to repay somebody — the family, the donor — for what they do. The best way is to try and live a good life,” he said.
Collins is doing just that, by keeping up with his fast moving toddler. He’s also able to help his wife around the house.
“I can do yard work, carry him to and from the car. I can go shopping,” Jamie Collins said. “We are ready to live our lives, do all the fun things with him we planned to do.”
“I don’t know if they would have taken me if they didn’t know my story. It was amazing you were able to help and, hopefully, this is bringing awareness to organ donation.” Nate Collins said.
His outlook is good: no more dialysis and he only has to see his doctors monthly. He’s writing a book about his journey.