Heart and liver transplant helps Pa. baseball coach make it home

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Heart and liver transplant helps Pa. baseball coach make it home
Patrick Brett, a father of three, guidance counselor, and baseball coach is using his new heart to the fullest.

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Two years ago I was in hospital, waiting to get a phone call waiting for a heart liver transplant," said Patrick Brett. "To look back and think where I was then to where I am now is just, it's almost unfathomable."

Brett, a guidance counselor and assistant baseball coach at North Penn High School, has had a life full of hospital visits and surgeries. But through it all, he never lost his passion for sports.

He played three of them as a child: baseball, basketball, and football. But as a teenager, he was thrown a curveball.

"I was a couple of days shy of 14 years old. I passed on the basketball court and woke up in the hospital," said Brett. "I had what's called ventricular tachycardia."

Sidelined from a career in sports, Brett turned to coaching as a way to stay connected to the game. He helped out his grade school coach, managed his high school team, continued in college and remains a coach to this day.

But in his early thirties, a series of medical complications accelerated his need for a transplant.

"October of 2019, my heart and liver were injured with thyroid toxicity and I just never recovered," said Brett. "After waiting over six months for the phone call, I woke up with a new heart and liver, came home, and I've been living this life, doing things that I've never been able to do."

One of those things is to be involved with his three children's athletic careers. A father of three, Brett is currently the coach of his four-year-old son's quickball team. His wife coaches the girls in softball and the family enjoys Saturday morning sports every weekend.

It's all thanks to the gift of life, which is something more than 100,000 people are currently awaiting according to the Gift of Life Donor Program.

"It doesn't take much to become an organ donor," said Brett. "Your legacy will live on within somebody else like my donor's legacy is living on in me."

Individuals can register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor and even a living donor. To learn more, visit the Gift of Life Donor Program website.

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