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Local Baker Shares Story of His Lifesaving Heart Transplant at Inaugural Heart of the Matter

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Lyle Joyce, PhD, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin spoke to attendees at the Heart of the Matter Food and Wine Event on Thursday, July 14.

Heart of the Matter Food and Wine Event Raised $135,000 to Support the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Center

Milwaukee, July 23, 2018 - Darrin Reasby, a Milwaukee resident and bakery owner who underwent a lifesaving heart transplant at Froedtert Hospital last year, shared his story from diagnosis to recovery with the 220 guests at the inaugural Heart of the Matter Food and Wine Event.

Diagnosed with heart failure in late 2015, Darrin was told he would ultimately need a new heart. His care team at the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Comprehensive Heart Failure and Transplant Program agreed that while waiting for a heart, Darrin would benefit from a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which replaces or supplements the heart’s own pumping action.

Darrin underwent surgery to have the LVAD implanted a few months later, keeping him alive until a new heart became available and he received a transplant in June 2017.

At the food and wine event on Thursday, July 19, Darrin showed how just over one year later he is feeling healthy and back to normal. This past year, he threw a party to celebrate his 51st birthday in September, won a local cooking competition – his strawberry crunch cheesecake stole the show – and has been making plans to open a storefront in Milwaukee for his business, R U Kidding Me Bakery.

“At the end of the day I’m alive, and I feel grateful I get a chance to be here,” Darrin said.

Heart of the Matter guests also heard from world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon and the most experienced heart transplant surgeon in Wisconsin, Lyle Joyce, PhD, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Joyce – along with his son David Joyce, MD, also a cardiothoracic surgery professor at MCW – conducted much of the founding research on LVAD, and they are both considered experts on this device. Dr. David Joyce was the surgeon who performed Darrin’s transplant.

The event featured award-winning wines paired with a heart-healthy dinner menu designed by Chef Magnasco of The Chef’s Table. The guests sat among the best cardiovascular clinicians and researchers from the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Center, offering a personal and exclusive conversational experience.
All proceeds from the event – $135,000 – will benefit research, education, clinical care and community outreach programs at the Cardiovascular Center.

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