Being a world champion cowboy takes heart — but for Chuck Newman, it took three. Chuck received his first heart transplant in 1988. That procedure, completed by Lyle Joyce, MD, PhD, allowed him to compete in and win world championship roping and reigning competitions. It also lasted him nearly 31 years, making Chuck one of the longest-living heart transplant recipients in the world. When he needed a second transplant, Chuck found himself working with Dr. Joyce again, as well as David Joyce, MD, Lyle’s son.
Both Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin cardiothoracic surgeons recognized the growing urgency in finding a new heart for the 72-year-old Iowa native. The timeframe needed to successfully complete the surgery was dwindling from weeks to days. When a match was finally found, Dr. David Joyce boarded a jet, procured the organ and flew right back to Milwaukee, where an organ transport emergency vehicle awaited. Chuck received this new heart that same day, thanks to the father-son surgeon duo and a supporting team of cardiovascular specialists at Froedtert Hospital.
Initially, Chuck didn’t think he’d be able to get back on a horse for at least 12 weeks. But this cowboy was able to saddle up nine weeks post-surgery to teach at a youth rodeo Bible camp, a cause near and dear to his heart (as well as his previous two).
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I had somebody tell me that after age 70, that you could not get a transplant. I this right, and if so, how did he get one at age 72?
Hi Lucy - Our program evaluates each potential heart transplant patient on a case-by-case basis and considers many factors to determine eligibility, including age and overall health. More information on heart transplant can be found at: https://www.froedtert.com/transplant/heart-transplant/faq