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UChicago Medicine performs record-breaking heart transplants on Thanksgiving

CHICAGO — Lifesaving work doesn’t stop on the holidays.

This Thanksgiving, doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine performed record-breaking work.

Some patients and their families are incredibly thankful this Thanksgiving after the transplant team saved not one but two lives today.

The University of Chicago Medicine transplant team keeps beating even on Thanksgiving Day.

“We had two patients who probably would not have lived past another 24-48 hours, and we gave them potentially decades more of life,” said Dr. Val Jeevanandam, Director of Heart and Vascular Center at UChicago Medicine. “So we gave them a lot more Thanksgivings in the future.”

This Thanksgiving, the team surpassed previous years, bringing the total number of heart transplants in 2021 to 55.

“We think that we have broken the record for number of transplants done in Illinois in a calendar year, and it was all done at Thanksgiving,” Jeevanandam said.

It was a gratifying day for both those whose lives were saved and those doing the saving.

“There was about 10 people who were part of this team to get the transplants done, and I think we’re all thankful for the fact that we’re part of a program that was able to help people and be able to save lives on Thanksgiving Day,” Jeevanandam said.

Thanksgiving dinner plans had to be postponed for some because of the intensive surgeries. But, this lifesaving team at UChicago Medicine was able to make it home to finish off the holiday.

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