A warm reunion brings transplant patients, surgeons together after 25 years

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – The moment a heart transplant patient reconnects with her surgeon after 25 years is nothing short of heartwarming.

“I miss Glenn like it was yesterday. Even though, it wasn’t yesterday,” said the director of Heart Transplant Surgery at Aurora St. Hospital. Luke, said Dr. John Crouch.

At the age of 30, Glenn Stuckmann contracted an enlarged heart virus, forcing him to be on the transplant list. He waited 18 months, six of them lived in the hospital.

“You are basically waiting to die,” says Stuckmann.

Stuckmann has since lived a full life. He is married and has two daughters and a son.

“I tricked me to death twice,” Stuckmann said. “I’m a lucky person.”

Crouch continued to save Stuckmann’s life as always.

“We do about 30 to 40 transplants a year and that’s going to be what we maintain,” says Crouch. “That still puts us in the top 10 to 15 percent of the shows.”

Crouch says the system for allocating implants has improved dramatically over the past 25 years.

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