PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the end of a long journey of emotional ups and downs, and often doubt, for Moses Hart.
KDKA has followed his story for three years as he waited for a heart transplant, never venturing too far from Allegheny General Hospital.
The call finally came a few months ago. Earlier this week, KDKA’s Brenda Waters sat down with Moses and his wife to revisit the journey.
“I just feel like a new life starting, like I have been born again, and I guess, Feb. 2 is my new birthday,” said Moses.
That was the day Moses Hart received his new heart.
Since then, he hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet. A month after his surgery, he spoke at the flag raising ceremony at Allegheny General Hospital, honoring those who have given the gift of life.
A few months later, he threw out the first pitch at a Pirates game at PNC Park.
Moses is always telling people about the importance of organ donation.
We first met Moses at Allegheny General Hospital in January 2014. Back then, the only thing keeping Moses alive was a heart pump connected to his own heart.
Years earlier, he had been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which meant his heart wasn’t pumping enough blood.
“Unfortunately, his heart was so sick, he would not have survived the time it usually takes to wait for a heart transplant, which in the U.S. is currently around a year,” said Dr. Ray Benza, Moses doctor.
So, Moses decided when he did get his heart, it would be placed in the best body ever. He lost weight, went to spinning class and walked. He was so fit that he was bumped down on the transplant list.
For four years, the 53-year-old was attached to a fanny pack, which housed the batteries to keep the pump going, which meant he had to be careful, including not getting any of the equipment wet.
So, no showers, no soaking in the tub, no standing near a microwave, no sleeping on his stomach; well, things have changed. He can do all of those things now.
A constant in his life is his wife, Donna. She has never left his side. She has gone to every appointment, and was there when the first call came in, only to learn the heart could not be used.
Donna was also the one who made sure Moses took all of his medication.
“It really makes you think about what’s important in life and it really makes you feel blessed, makes you really value life,” she said. “I know we are both different people because of the journey.”
Moses is in rehab now, building his strength and endurance. After that, he says he’s off to the races.
“There are two races I want to do. I want to do The Great Race, and I would like to try in 2018, there is the Transplant Olympics. I would like to get into that,” he says.
About his wife, Moses says, “I could have never done it without her. Never, never, never. I love you, and I owe you a big diamond.”