From Transplant Recipient to Endurance Athlete

After going into severe heart failure, people told Derek he wouldn't live a full life. But Derek wouldn't settle for that. Now, he has a new heart that he has carried through multiple ultra-distance triathlons.

Watch Derek's Story
Heart failure and transplant patient Derek Fitzgerald swimming

Download a free guide on heart failure and treatment options

Heart transplant is a complex procedure requiring an experienced and caring team. Penn's heart transplant program has the depth and experience to successfully treat those patients for whom transplant is the answer, as well as the many patients for whom it is not.

Our heart transplant team is experienced in evaluating high-risk patients and understands what transplantation can provide. Many of the sickest patients choose the program for their care. As the largest heart transplant center in the Mid-Atlantic region and one of the top three heart transplant programs in the nation, surgeons have performed more than 1000 heart transplants since the program began in 1988 -- more than all of the other centers in the region combined.

Heart transplantation may be an option for patients whose hearts do not function well due to:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Valvular disease
  • Cardiorenal syndrome
  • Other life-threatening cardiac problems

In This Section

Transplant Process

Understand the heart transplant process and learn about the different stages here.

Events Calendar

View events for the Heart Transplant Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about heart transplants.

The Penn Difference

Discover the many reasons why Penn Medicine is the preferred choice in the region among those seeking a heart transplant.

Clinical Trials

Penn Medicine offers information about current research and clinical trials that enhance our heart transplant program.

Patient Stories

Watch a video or read about a patient who successfully underwent a heart transplant at Penn Medicine.

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