Utah man recovering after historic transplant

Posted at 1:22 PM, May 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 02:01:57-04

MURRAY, Utah - A Utah man received both a heart and a liver in a transplant procedure performed last month at Intermountain Medical Center.

The dual transplant was the first successful combined heart-liver transplant performed on an adult in the Intermountain West, according to a press release from the hospital.

The patient, 31-year-old Mike Mader, has a rare genetic disorder that causes him to have an unusually high cholesterol level. Mader has suffered 18 heart attacks over the past nine years.

After waiting three years for a compatible heart and liver, Mader received a call from Intermountain Medical Center to let him know the transplant organs were available.

Mader went into surgery the next day and was discharged from the hospital less than a week later.

On Thursday, Mader was reunited with the team of doctors who performed the life-saving procedure.

"It's just a great facility. Luck definitely played a part into it and everything had to line up just perfect. Getting two organs that were compatible," Mader said. "Luck was everything, really."

Before the surgery, Mader wasn't sure if he would live to see his next birthday. Now he says he can plan for his retirement.