Mr. Poindexter believes his heart problems began when he contracted a virus while working in the Middle East. Doctors were able to manage his cardiomyopathy for nine years with medications until July, 1985, when he received a heart transplant.
| Dr. Denton Cooley visits with John Poindexter |
"Medically I’ve been very lucky and done very well. I’ve maintained a healthy, full and vibrant life and remained in my occupation as a lawyer," said Mr. Poindexter. "I’m very thankful that there was a donor out there to save my life and allow me to have more than 20 years of existence. I don’t take that for granted as I did prior to the illness. I’m very thankful for my good luck."
Mr. Poindexter believes he was able to get a very close tissue match with his donor heart because he’s never had a tissue rejection episode. He also credits a positive mental attitude for his success.
"I left the hospital ten days after transplant – the earliest anyone had ever been discharged after transplant at that time. I had a very speedy and uneventful recovery. I had a very accepting mental attitude that these were just things that were going to heal, and sure enough, they did," he said.
Mr. Poindexter was active in the Heart Exchange support group at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital after his heart transplant and estimates he assisted about 100 patients during his time as a volunteer. He said he believes the difference between those patients who did well and those who did not was a matter of mental attitude, and it was his goal to instill the right mindset in the patients who were candidates for transplantation.
"I’m very happy to have achieved this anniversary. Twenty years ago I was something of a novelty and that’s not the case anymore. These days, people will always know somebody who’s had some kind of transplant. It’s been a big change," he said, adding "I can remember most of the transplant team. It’s one of those things you don’t forget."
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