Meet Jordan: A Fighter for Life

Jordan was born with a congenital condition called Transpositions of the Great Artery (TGA), where the aorta is connected to the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery is connected to the left ventricle- the opposite of a normal heart’s anatomy. He also had Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), which is a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart.

In 1980, at just seven months old, Jordan had the surgical ‘Mustard Procedure’ to correct the transposition of his vessels and redirect blood flow. His next surgery came at age two, when surgeons closed his VSD. Jordan led a pretty normal life until he was 15 years old, when a pacemaker was placed. During this time, in 1986, Jordan’s younger brother, Jonathan, passed away and was an organ and tissue donor.

In 1997, Jordan decided he wanted to try the ‘PA switch,’ where surgeons would re-route his aorta and pulmonary artery to where they are located in a normal heart. The procedure required a total of three surgeries. The first two were to band the pulmonary artery to make the heart stronger, and the final was the switch. During the second banding surgery, the pulmonary artery ruptured and Jordan’s heart stopped for six minutes. He was revived, and from that time on knew he would need a transplant. Jordan endured, but at age 23 he had a pacer battery switch, and five years later he got a blood infection that almost took his life. Over the next nine months, Jordan endured a total of four pacemaker surgeries and 24 weeks of IV antibiotics. When he was healed, his physicians decided to place a pacer/defibrillator which was followed, in 2014, with another battery switch.

During the holiday season of 2015, Jordan began to feel sick. He thought it was caused by stress and other things that were going on. However, by spring Jordan received the bad news that he was in heart failure.

But Jordan also received some good news. His wife, Heather, was pregnant with their first child. They learned her due was November 21. Jordan’s doctors gave him some options, but Jordan and Heather decided to try to get Jordan transplanted before the baby arrived.

On August 15, 2016, Jordan was admitted to the hospital with a balloon pump and went on the waitlist as a 1A candidate. After waiting 10 weeks, he received his gift of life.

At first, everything went smoothly, but just five days after transplant Jordan was in acute rejection. He was treated with a massive amount of steroid and rejection medications, and it took several more weeks to get his medications leveled off so he could be released. The baby’s arrival date was quickly approaching, but luckily, the baby wasn’t in a hurry. After 101 days, Jordan was discharged on November 23 and baby Hadley arrived six days later.

Since Jordan’s transplant, he’s had one short hospital stay, and since January of 2017, everything has been going really well. Jordan is very grateful to all of the talented physicians and clinical staff that helped him get where he is today, as well as to his donor, who gave him the ultimate gift that allowed Jordan to welcome his baby girl home.