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Heart Transplant Recipient Inspired to Volunteer

Eulish Moore When you see Eulish Moore walking the halls of the Cardiac Progressive Care Unit on the 7th floor of Clarkson Tower, it is hard to believe that little more than a year ago, he had accepted that he was dying.

“I had accepted my fate,” he recalled. “ I said, ‘if death is this peaceful, I’m okay with it. I’m ready to go.’”

Moore was in intensive care in another Omaha hospital where he was being treated for congestive heart failure. His wife was not willing to let him go.

“She did some research on the internet,” Moore said. “She found out the med center had this device, an LVAD (left ventricular assist device).”

Moore’s wife arranged a transfer. The next day he arrived at The Nebraska Medical Center. Though he was too weak to remember any of it now, he and his family met with the heart failure team, led by Ioana Dumitru, MD. They had new hope.

“My heart got new life on Valentine’s Day 2011,” Moore said. He now had an LVAD helping his heart. The device helped his weakened heart by taking over much of the heart’s function. His journey was not over. Moore was listed for a heart transplant.

His new heart came to him in August. With a new heart came a new outlook for Moore. The man who had once resigned himself to dying was more intent than ever on living.

“I want to do everything I can to make sure this young heart will function the way it’s meant to,” said Moore. “At some point, the daughter of my donor, who was born two weeks after he passed away, will get to touch this heart and know that her father was a really generous man.”

His desire to give back does not just extend to his donor’s family. Three months after transplant, Moore made a commitment to help others going through the same process he did. Three days each week, Moore is back on the CPCU; not as a patient but as a hospital volunteer. He talks with patients who are considering an LVAD or a transplant; or who have just had those surgeries.

“Life is really meaningful,” he said. “Tomorrow isn’t promised to us so we need to make the best of what we have today. And I am loving it.”

Moore is living those words every day. He was recently named volunteer of the year for the city of Bellevue Mayor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Education. He plans to return to work as a drug and alcohol counselor soon.