• Heart transplant program  

    A multidisciplinary approach to transplant care

    The heart transplant program at UK Transplant Center offers comprehensive care for transplant patients. Our heart transplant program was founded in 1991, and since that time we have performed hundreds of heart transplants for patients with end-stage heart disease. In fact, UK Transplant Center holds the record for the most heart transplants in one year by a single center in Kentucky.

    Our highly trained doctors and nurses specialize in the complex medical needs of heart transplant patients, while our team’s social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists and support staff offer personalized plans to help our patients and their families throughout the entire transplant process — before, during and after surgery. 

    Advanced technology is a critical part of our program, which offers mechanical circulatory support and left ventricular assist devices, or LVADs, as part of our heart failure and transplant care. These technologies help make it possible for our transplant team to offer patients the highest level of care.

  • About heart transplantation

    Heart transplantation is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to remove a diseased or failing heart muscle and replace it with a donated healthier heart. Heart transplants are usually a last resort after other medical approaches have been attempted. Common approaches include medications, surgical procedures or placement of assistive devices like a VAD.

    Even though a heart transplant is a major surgery, chances of survival are good and quality of life is also positive provided that the patient takes steps to maintain the health of the new heart. Read more about heart transplantation »

  • Zack Poe

    Zack Poe, 21, of Maysville, Ky., received his new heart in July at the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, approximately six months after being placed on the transplant list. Poe was implanted with the total artificial heart (TAH) on Feb. 10, 2012, after being diagnosed with heart failure. Read more

  • Tom Wills

    When WAVE 3 Chief Meteorologist Tom Wills retired in July 2009, his only goal was to spend more time with his wife, two daughters and two grandchildren. But those plans came to a screeching halt early this year when a medical scare nearly took his life. Read more.

  • Mike Hill

    Mike Hill went to bed the night before his 54th birthday wondering what kind of cake he might have the next day. A phone call early the next morning changed those plans. Instead of cake, he would be getting a new heart at UK HealthCare. Read more.

  • David Morrow

    David Morrow, the 57-year-old science and language arts teacher at East Washington Middle School in Pekin, Ind., is now in his 35th year of teaching and still going strong. That alone is impressive. Even more impressive? The fact that Morrow is back in his classroom today after undergoing a combined heart and kidney transplant at UK HealthCare. Read more.

  • Dr. Charles Shelton

    Dr. Charles Shelton, a Lexington psychiatrist, knew there was a history of cardiovascular disease in his family, so he maintained a healthy diet and exercised regularly, but in May 2011, during an elective surgery, he went into complete heart block – where the heart’s electrical system short circuits.

    He sought medical care and originally was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition of the heart....Read more 

    Dawn Nelson

    Dawn Nelson was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus at 17 and rheumatoid arthritis at 22. Four years ago, she developed pulmonary hypertension, fatal without timely treatment. The disease destroyed her lungs, and her heart began to fail when it could no longer push blood into them.

    She received two lungs and a heart from the same donor in one procedure at UK...Read more

  • UK Cardiothoracic/VAD Transplant Support Group

    Our support group meets on the first Monday of each month, except in September when we meet on the second Monday.  The meetings are from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with lunch provided at each meeting. Participants can meet at the Donor Wall in Chandler Hospital - Pavilion H, next to the entrance to the Gill Heart Institute, and we will take you back all together to the meeting location in Room HA110.  We look forward to seeing you there!

    If you have any questions, you can contact Tamra Halcomb at 859-323-3517 or Donna Dennis at 859-323-4938.

    2013 Meeting Schedule
    • January 7
    • February 4
    • March 4
    • April 1
    • May 6
    • June 3
    • July 1
    • August 5
    • September 9
    • October 7
    • November 4
    • December 2