HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Three Midstate brothers — Brian, Greg, and Steve Allen — are celebrating a second chance at life after they successfully received heart transplants at Hershey Medical Center.
“It was a miracle. The whole thing is a miracle,” Greg, who had his transplant seven months ago, said.
After losing six family members to congestive heart failure, the Allen boys always knew there was a chance they would be diagnosed with it, too.
“We lost our father at age 58, his mother at 42, and he lost brothers in their 30s and 40s. It’s like a curse,” Greg said.
But what Greg and his two brothers didn’t know was that unlike those who came before them, they would receive a second heart and ultimately, a second chance at life.
“I was gonna beat it, I was gonna get out ahead of it,” Brian said. “We realized this was a very aggressive disease, so the doctors at Hershey put me on a transplant list right away.”
Despite being on the list, Brian almost didn’t receive a new heart.
“It was one of the last days they would have been able to treat me before the organs deteriorated to the point they couldn’t give me a transplant,” Brian said.
But then, according to Brian, a family friend — who was also a pastor — came to visit him.
“He prayed, ‘Lord, if it’s in your will to give this man a heart, give it to him now,'” Brian said. “Twenty minutes later they came down the hall and found me a heart.”
It was that faith, the Allen brothers say, that kept them going.
“We’ve each been on a very long journey over the years, through the heart failure, surgical procedures, and then finally the transplant,” Steve, who got his new heart in 2015, said.
The brothers celebrated their newfound life with family, friends, and Hershey Medical Staff at The Englewood on Sunday. Though they said they couldn’t have done it without their support system, they also recognize that they would not be alive had it not been for the generosity of a stranger.
“It was a gift from God that we were all able to get transplants through the generosity of organ donors,” Brian said.