Photo Contest

Andrew Davis

Photo Description

My wife and I took one of our first rides of the spring on the Hoodlebug Trail near Homer City, PA. We are preparing to do a big bicycle tour this summer.

My Story

Late in the fall of 2020, my wife and I finished a bike ride and, reflecting on how very few years we would have to ride our bikes, decided that we should ride our bikes across the United States. We would make it a celebration of raising three healthy and happy children. On February 27 of 2021 I went into heart failure, just three months before we were set to leave on our big trip. After being stabilized, I was living a life with heart failure. I struggled every day in order to walk and do daily chores. In early November of 2021, my doctor placed me on the transplant list. Dr. Hadi cautioned me that just being on the list does not guarantee a heart transplant. Toward the end of November, Dr. Hadi told me that I needed to come into the hospital because my condition was deteriorating so rapidly. At that time I had a pump placed in my aorta and was told that I could expect to receive a new heart within two weeks. Eleven days after I entered the hospital, I was told that my new heart was on its way from Tennessee. I was terrified about the operation but understood that a transplant was my only choice. After a few days of sedation, I became away of the fact that I was ALIVE! The sight of my beautiful wife and wonderful children was too amazing to put into words. I returned home on December 24, 2021. Christmas Eve.

I won’t mince words here. The first six months were quite challenging. My guts hurt. I struggled to do much work. I could barely keep my eyes open for more than a few hours. BUT I WAS ALIVE! I never missed my daily exercise sessions. No matter how I felt, I did my exercise. Slowly, I became stronger and stronger. I started riding an electric bike but sold it six months later because I no longer needed it. Today I am planning to ride bicycles with my wife through Denmark, Germany and parts of France, Switzerland, Slovakia and Hungary. We leave two days after my oldest daughter gets married!

It may sound cliche but not a day passes that I don’t marvel at the fact that I am alive and with my family. Every single day I am grateful for the sacrifice of my donor and my donor’s family. I love being alive and am dedicating this trip to Donate Life and organ donation. Thank you for all that you do.