In the fall of 2000, Oscar Sainz was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a condition that weakens the heart muscles and prevents normal heart function. He responded well to his medications and was able to continue living an active life relatively normally. He maintained a steady job, enjoyed his hobby of fishing and spent time with his family.

Eight years later, Oscar’s symptoms suddenly worsened. He could barely walk, had difficulty breathing and was constantly in pain. As Oscar’s health rapidly declined, his family stepped in to help with everything from yard work to grocery shopping.

After a few long months, Oscar was told that his body was no longer responding to medication.  The only hope for reclaiming his life was a heart transplant. Oscar understood how long the wait for a transplant often is and that many candidates lose their life while waiting. To help him endure the wait for his life-saving surgery, Oscar decided to have a mechanical heart device implanted. He had a successful recovery and was ready for a new heart. Months passed with no match, but Oscar remained positive with the support of his loving family and friends.

One day, eight months later, Oscar and his mother were driving home when he received the call he had been hoping for. They had a heart for Oscar. As his mother nervously drove them to the hospital, Oscar’s whole body went numb. He couldn’t believe this day had arrived.

His recovery was “remarkable,” and he was able to leave the hospital after just one week. His health continues to improve every day. Physically and mentally stronger, Oscar describes his post-surgery life as simply “wonderful.” Deeply grateful for his donor’s heroic decision, Oscar feels blessed with renewed life and endless opportunities.

Click here to read more stories of hope.