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The Dylan Project:
A Heart Transplant Recipient's Inspirational Story

Exercise Therapist, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
Intermountain Medical Center
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

links imageLooking at 22-year-old Dylan Peterson today, one would never know that in 2009 he was confined to a hospital room for 9 months, completely reliant on a total artificial heart machine to keep him alive.

During his hospital stay, Dylan worked with the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation team to improve and maintain his strength until receiving a transplant. As a member of the rehab team, I work with a lot of heart transplant patients who are either on the waiting list for a heart transplant or have just received one. It was during this time when Dylan and I were first introduced. After working together in the hospital for months, Dylan received his new heart in June 2010.

links imageBy October 2011, Dylan ballooned up to 340 pounds, roughly 100 pounds heavier than he was prior to receiving a transplant. Seeing that he needed help formulating an exercise routine, I started training him in November 2011. The following year brought about many challenges and obstacles to overcome, but Dylan rose to the occasion and dropped his weight to 253 pounds by November 2012.

Not only that, but with all the self-confidence he's gained, he has his sights set on trying out for his collegiate baseball team in September 2013. He was a talented pitcher in high school links imagebefore heart failure (something he has been dealing with since birth) eventually put an end to his playing days, but now he has the opportunity to realize his full potential as an athlete.

Below is a link to his one year progress report:

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Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Jeffrey Beck is an Exercise Therapist in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also a personal trainer certified in ACLS and in EKG interpretation. He obtained his bachelor's degree in exercise science with a minor in nutrition from the University of Utah.