Father Of 7 Misses Chance At Heart Transplant Due To Canceled Flight Over Weather

credit: Jozef Polc / Alamy
A man has lost the opportunity for a heart transplant after his flight was canceled due to the winter storm.

Alaska resident Patrick Holland, 57, received a call from the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle last Thursday (December 22) notifying him that they had a donor match.

However, the father-of-seven - who has a congestive heart condition - missed out on the potentially life-saving surgery after several Alaskan Airlines flights to the heart institute were canceled.

The delays to his journey meant he missed out on having the transplant as he was not able to reach the hospital in the eight-hour window he was given to be eligible for the heart.

Appearing in an interview with CNN, Holland emotionally spoke about how he felt before the harrowing ordeal and said: "Terrifying news to hear that I was going to get a transplant, to be honest with you. I was terrified. And then I was excited."

Holland explained that he and his brother rushed to the airport to catch an overnight flight from Fairbanks to Seattle - as he had eight hours to make it to the hospital.

However, when they arrived they saw that the flight was one of the thousands of journeys that had been canceled because of the horrific weather.

Holland told the outlet that he notified the employees of his special reason for traveling so they rebooked him on another flight. But, unfortunately, that flight was re-routed mid-flight, which he found out after they landed.

"I started to panic and my worst fears were overwhelming me," he said. "Because when you hear that, you're like, there's somebody donating a heart and I don’t imagine they can wait that long. Because the longer it waits, the longer the tissue decomposes."

Holland clarified that the airline staff "jumped through hoops to get me there," but numerous following flights were also withdrawn. He then turned to his brother and said: "I know I’ve lost it, I know I have."

Later, the man told the publication that the transplant coordinator gave him a call to inform him that the clinic was going to give the heart to somebody else.

"I think I cried more that day than I have in my life and had exerted every emotion that I’d never had," Holland said, according to King5.

MOVING FORWARD As most of you probably know, Patrick did not receive the heart transplant. The 25 hours starting...

Posted by Big Heart - Patrick Holland's Transplant Journey on Tuesday, December 27, 2022

A Facebook page on his transplant journey - managed by his wife Haley - informed their followers that "they gave the heart to someone else. Patrick will be coming home".

Despite feeling devastated, Holland tried to change his perspective on the matter and said that someone else was given a Christmas miracle while he got to go home and spend the festive season with his family.

The father also told CNN that his dream is to be able to be with his family for many years to come and will be more ready for the next time he will get a call about a heart transplant.

"We aim to be more prepared for the second call," a recent post on the page read. "The first one came in two-and-a-half weeks. The next one could come any time, or it could be weeks or months out."

In the meantime, Holland will remain hopeful and find a temporary home in Seattle so that he will be closer to the hospital when the time for his transplant does come.

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