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Bridgeport Native Recovering Well After Heart Transplant On Valentine's Day

John Pesavento of Shelton with his daughter, Kristen, left, and his wife, Ruth, right, before his heart transplant surgery Sunday at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
John Pesavento of Shelton with his daughter, Kristen, left, and his wife, Ruth, right, before his heart transplant surgery Sunday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Photo Credit: Yale-New Haven Hospital

SHELTON, Conn. — A 60-year-old Shelton man is doing well after receiving a heart transplant on Valentine’s Day, although he is facing a long recovery.

John Pesavento, a Bridgeport native, was diagnosed with stage-end heart failure after complications from a heart attack he suffered 20 years ago. For 18 months, he had been on a left ventricle assist device, which pumped blood from a chamber of his heart to the rest of his body. He had been on the heart transplant recipient list for a year.

He learned early Sunday that he would be receiving the donor heart he needed, and the six-hour surgery was completed at Yale-New Haven Hospital that evening.

The only information on the donor heart was that it came from northern New England.

“Everyone, from the doctors here at YNHH as well as the recipient’s family are grateful to those who made this heart available for Mr. Pesavento,” said Dr. Pramod Bonde. “We know that available hearts come about only because another family has experienced loss.

"When hearts become available and we are able to save a life, we have to act quickly. But it is because of the thoughtfulness of the donor that we are able to give this new heart to Mr. Pesavento."

Yale-New Haven Hospital took the opportunity to encourage others to be organ donors.

"We encourage others to consider the gift of life when possible," Bonde said. "While every day is a great day to save a life with a heart transplant, perhaps there is no better day than Valentine’s Day.”

His wife Ruth Pesavento, 61, told the Connecticut Post that the family was "given the most incredible gift."

By the next day, he was recovering well and breathing on his own, the Post said. He is expected to be hospitalized for up to two weeks, followed by a long recovery at home, the Post said.

Click here to read the story at the Connecticut Post.

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