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Your Dollars Helping to End Heart Disease Because of you, incredible advancements are happening at The Ohio State University Heart and Vascular Center

I’m one of the My name is Nikia — ing life thanks to many people enjoy art research at your support for he d me return Ohio State. You helpe me show you to my family, now let u’ve changed. some more lives yo

In This Issue


You’ve Helped Us Come a Long Way Milestones through the years


Sharing the Gift of Life Adam Burkhart gives back to say thanks for his new heart


Campaign and Gift Updates How generosity is making an impact

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You Helped a Mother Return to Her Family Nikia says, “Thank You!” Dear Friends, After my third son was born, I left the hospital full of optimism for my growing family. Days later, shortness of breath and chest pain stopped me in my tracks. I was young and healthy; I knew I couldn’t be having a heart attack. But something was seriously wrong. I turned to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for help. The doctors at Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital diagnosed me with spontaneous coronary artery dissection – a heart condition so rare my physicians had never seen a patient with it. Nevertheless, my heart care team had the expertise to repair my heart before it was too late.

Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital Wellness Series Recap of the 2013 events

With three rambunctious sons and a thriving career, my heart health is important to me now more than ever. With the help of the caring physicians at Ohio State, I’m continuing to make decisions that will keep my heart healthy for a long time. It’s the best gift I can give to my family and to myself.

Miracle Amongst a Disease More women are giving birth despite heart disease

Your support has made Ohio State one of the best heart care and research centers in the country. It has also given thousands of people like me a second chance at life. Thank you.

All in the Family Genetic testing helps a family plan for the future A Little Can Mean a Lot Gifts of every size can make a difference FALL 2013

But for Ohio State and generous donors like you, my heart story would have had a much different ending. Sincerely, Nikia Reveal Spontaneous coronary artery dissection patient

Thank you for supporting the research that saved my life! — Nikia

You’ve Helped Us Come a Long Way Your support has helped us reach many important milestones in heart care and research. 1999: Dean and Ohio State central campus administration accept plan to build a dedicated heart hospital 2000: Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute (DHLRI) opens with a vision to integrate scientists with clinicans to encourage discovery in human heart and lung disease 2002: Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital construction commences 2003: DHLRI starts the Cardiovacular Clinical Research Unit, currently known as The Heart and Vasclar Research Organization (HVRO) 2004: Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital opens, becoming the first academic medical center in the U.S. to build a comprehensive cardiovascular hospital on its campus 2008: Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital completes two floor expansion 2011: Electrophysiology team adds three EP labs, one cath lab and a recovery area with 10 beds making them the largest EP team in Ohio with third highest volumes in the nation 2013: U.S.News & World Report ranks Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital 29th nationally in cardiology and heart surgery We still have much work to do in our efforts to prevent and cure heart and lung disease. Thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do to help advance our mission. FALL 2013


Sharing the Gift of Life Heart transplant recipient gives back to say thanks. Adam Burkhart was born with a ticking time bomb in the middle of his chest. The name for the disease he inherited is long and complex, but the bottom line was that his heart would fail, probably before he reached his mid30s. The disease had killed his aunt, and in the complex lottery of genetics, Adam was next in line. But his disease didn’t wait for even three decades — by the age of 17, Adam needed a heart transplant. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was there for him. Adam waited seven frightening months for a donor heart to become available. Then, in what is an example of one of life’s most exceptional acts of expertise and teamwork, Adam was given a new life. Adam and his wife are overjoyed to welcome the newest addition to their healthy family.

“I got a new heart,” Adam says, “turned 18 six days later, and went home the day after that.” A decade has passed, and Adam is healthy, happy and recently became a father to a beautiful baby girl. “I feel good,” he says. “My rejection factor is zero — I’m extremely lucky. Not long ago I met with the family of the person who donated the heart that saved my life. The older I got, the more I realized just how much they gave. It was difficult for us to meet, but we are all glad we did.”

By sponsoring a pinwheel, Adam and nearly 160 additional donors helped fund innovative treatments and research, hopefully helping us create more colorful reminders of lives saved through Thanks to our generous donors, we raised more than $16,000 for transplantation.

transplant research through this year’s pinwheel garden. You can visit to sponsor a pinwheel today! —Nikia

Adam is so grateful for his organ donor and all other donors out there, that he recently sponsored a pinwheel in this year’s pinwheel garden. This past April, a vibrant display of 7,600 pinwheels, each representing an organ or tissue transplant performed at Ohio State, was planted on the front plaza of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. FALL 2013


But for Ohio State Campaign Update As of June 30, 2013, our donors have contributed more than $29 million toward our $53 million campaign goal. This incredible progress wouldn’t be possible without you. We’ve also welcomed new committee members including John Cooper and Deron Brown. “It’s an honor to serve on the Ross campaign committee and give back to the team that saved my life. In 2000, I found out I had 85 percent blockage in my heart. Ohio State put four stents in, and I’ve been great ever since. I am confident that others will help us reach our campaign goal in order to save more lives, like the Ross saved mine,” says Cooper. 6

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Recent Gifts Creating Lasting Impacts Just like your donations, these gifts are making a difference. Bill and Susan Lhota each have their own family history of heart disease. Sue’s father passed away at a young age from heart disease, and Bill’s father had a multiple bypass in his early 60s. Bill has had his own share of heart issues as well. Fortunately, Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital has given him the best treatment and follow-up monitoring possible. Bill and Susan recently made a $2.5 million gift to establish a new cardiovascular area offering more private spaces. Now when patients go to have stents put in, their family and loved ones can be in the room right there with them.

You can become even more involved. With your support, we can improve countless lives through leadingedge research, patient care and innovation. If you’d like to learn how you can help, please contact us at 614-292-5065. Or visit to make a difference today.

Thanks to All Those Who Joined the Fight to End Heart Disease! Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital Wellness Series From the chilly Long John Run in March to the grueling Gauntlet fitness challenge in June, more than 1,700 individuals committed to a healthier heart by participating in the Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital 2013 Wellness Series. With a range of events and required fitness levels, participants could partake in the fitness challenge most suitable for their personal goals. The series culminated with the inaugural TriFit Challenge, which attracted more than 575 participants and enlisted the help of more than 175 volunteers. If you’d like to join us in the fight against heart disease by taking steps to live a healthier lifestyle and making positive lifestyle changes, visit That’s me impr oving my hear t health and hono ring all the doct ors and nurses who cared for me by participating in the Wellness Series. — Nikia

A Miracle Amongst A Disease Nikki and more moms everywhere are giving birth despite heart disease. Nikki Westphal always knew someday she would need surgery to repair her heart. Born with a defective aorta and irregular chambers, Nikki was able to control her condition until the age of 34. That’s when she decided it was time for corrective surgery. As she was preparing for heart surgery to replace her valve, preliminary tests led to a surprise – Nikki found out she was pregnant.


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xperience it’s like to e t a t h w w o n Ik gnancy, bu ns after pre ss e c c su complicatio ore rt makes m ia your suppo ible. — Nik ss o p i’s k ik N e lik s e ri sto

Multiple physicians told her that her heart condition made it impossible for her and the baby to survive the pregnancy.

Nikki’s research led her to Ohio State’s adult congenital heart disease program where heart specialists explained that the only way she could keep her baby would be to risk open heart surgery while pregnant. A team of congenital heart disease specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons, high risk obstetricians and anesthesiologists at Ohio State worked collaboratively to save Nikki’s baby and fix her heart. Four months pregnant, she successfully had her aortic valve replaced and aortic aneurysm repaired. Remarkably, she then carried

Fund Facts One of many ways philanthropy is advancing heart care the baby full-term, giving birth to a healthy son, Conor. While her case is unique, it is becoming more common. Birth rates in women over 40 are the highest they’ve been in nearly 50 years. Combined with the fact that approximately 500,000 women live with congenital heart disease in the U.S., the result is more mothers with heart disease during pregnancy. Luckily, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center has a team in place to help women with heart problems who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. As a result, more than 500 healthy babies, including Conor, have been born to mothers with heart disease with help from Ohio State’s heart experts.

FUND NAME: The Cardiac Rehabilitation Access Fund WHY IT WAS ESTABLISHED: Cardiac rehabilitation is an essential part of the recovery process for heart patients, but less than 20 percent of patients actually attend their recommended sessions due to lack of health insurance or inability to afford co-pays. This fund defrays the cost of those high co-pays so all patients can experience the life-saving effects of cardiac rehab. WHO IT BENEFITS: Individuals without financial means to afford the care necessary to return to an active and healthy lifestyle. HOW IT IS IMPROVING LIVES: Patients who participate in cardiac rehab have a 30 percent reduction in mortality from any cause, a 40 percent reduction in sudden cardiac death and a 22 percent reduction in suffering a fatal heart attack. This fund is preventing patients from returning to the hospital with a more serious or even life-threatening event. To support this fund, visit These patients were fortunate enough to experience the benefits of cardiac rehab .

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All in the Family Genetic testing helps a family plan for a healthy future. As a young teenager, Matt Park knew that a specific heart disease ran in his family. His grandmother and his father were both diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle that can cause heart malfunctions. “Because of our family history, my siblings and I started getting screened with cardiac ultrasounds every few years,” recalls Matt. “However, my scans were always inconclusive, so I was never sure if I had the disease.” That has changed thanks to the help of Ohio State’s Cardiogenetics Program, the only program in central Ohio that provides detailed genetic screening, counseling and treatment for adult patients with heart problems. Now, the future is a little clearer for Matt and his family. Matt’s cardiologist at Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital performed an echocardiogram and other tests, 10

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but when nothing showed up on Matt’s test results, they turned to genetic testing. After a simple blood draw for Matt’s DNA, they discovered that Matt did in fact have the gene that could lead to HCM, meaning he could very likely develop this type of heart disease. Matt has used this opportunity to inform his family members who are also coming to Ohio State to be tested. Knowledge of the gene mutation allows Ohio State’s heart experts to monitor symptoms and treat the disease before it gets worse.

As the father of two young girls, Matt hopes this testing will help him be involved in their lives for many years to come.

Will provide scales and



Will help create a supply of comforting



blood pressure cuffs

Will assist in providing interactive

therapeutic pillows for heart transplant patients.

patient A LITTLE education CAN MEAN A LOT… tools


for heart and lung rehabilitation sessions.


Will supply an assortment of




for heart failure patients to participate in their post-care recovery.

excercise bands

Will help fund a portion of the more than 150 cardiovascular

1,000 clinical trials


for recovering heart attack patients.

currently taking place at Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital.


EVERY GIFT MATTERS – NO MATTER THE SIZE. Visit to make a difference today.


Office of Medical Center Development and Alumni Affairs 660 Ackerman Road, 6th Floor P.O. Box 183112 Columbus, OH 43218-3112

of the joy this edition I hope you en a loyg in be r anks fo newsletter. Th eart H s e’ at St o Ohi al supporter of ia ik Center! — N and Vascular

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Heart Donor Newsletter Fall 2013  
Heart Donor Newsletter Fall 2013