Friday, June 20, 2014

How Does He Do It After TWO Heart Transplants?

I was inspired and amazed last weekend by the story of golfer Erik Compton. Although I am not a golfer, I happen to live in the heart of golf country (no pun intended), and our little town of Pinehurst, NC hosted the 2014 Men’s US Open which wrapped up on Father’s Day. While watching the tournament from the comfort of my living room in order to avoid the sweltering heat and humidity, I was captivated by Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient. Compton’s story is well-known in the golf community, but I had never heard it.

He received his first heart transplant at the age of 12 after being diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition which inflames and weakens the heart muscle. He went on to become an accomplished junior and college golfer despite a scheduled treatment of drugs which resulted in a swollen face and extremities.

At the age of 28, Compton’s first donor heart began to fail. When he began to feel symptoms that felt all too familiar, he drove himself to the hospital and waited for a new donor heart to arrive. Just months later he was back on the course and has an impressive record.

When I tell you it was hot here, believe me! Many spectators were reported as suffering from dehydration despite the bottles of water that were handed out as a courtesy. Some were reported to have passed out in the heat. So how does Erik do it? Is it attitude, determination, a willingness to exceed no matter what? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please post them below.
You can’t ever give up. We all have adversity in our lives, some are different than others. The up-and-down I made on 18 is an example of never giving up. I hit the world's worst shot into the green and then got up and down. So when you have disabilities or you have health issues, some days are really bad and then you’ve got to try to make the best of it the next day, and wake up and move your body – and I’m a perfect example of that. I’ve been on my back twice and I never thought I would ever leave the house. Now I just finished second at the U.S. Open, which is – I don't think anybody would have ever thought I would do that, not even myself. So you can't ever write yourself off, you just can’t give up. — Erik Compton