HOUSTON – The common link between George Thomas Hampton III and Miles Segun-Oside is unfortunately heart failure.
They also share the same cardiologist at Memorial Hermann.
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George has suffered from cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, for several decades.
Three years ago, in his early 40s, he spent an entire year in hospital fighting for his life.
“The sad thing is that he had a lovely daughter who was so young, and we could go to his room every time and see all the pictures and drawings of the girl and there was no way for his daughter to connect with him while he was in the hospital,” says Dr. Sriram Nathan, their heart failure cardiologist at Memorial Hermann and UTHealth.
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“Finally they sent me home to Hospice and I told them – no, do an operation! I want to fight – not just go home and die,” exclaimed George.
Although it was a difficult time for George, he was still able to be a positive force at Memorial Hermann.
“He had such a positive impact on all the nursing and hospital staff that everyone was cheering him on to get a heart transplant. So it was a long journey, a difficult journey, ups and downs. down. And eventually he got an offer for a heart transplant, and he was transplanted,” says Dr. Nathan.
Meanwhile, Miles’ heart problems popped up out of nowhere. It started out looking like a respiratory infection, until her feet started to swell.
“They did some tests and told me my kidneys and my liver weren’t working 100%. They said, ‘Don’t even go home. Go straight to the hospital next door,'” says miles.
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“It was very obvious that he had advanced congestive heart failure and would also need to go through a left ventricular assist device,” says Dr Nathan.
Miles wore this device, simply called LVAD, as did George. It’s a mechanical heart pump that would help stabilize them until they both find a matching donor.
Miles was on the transplant list and at 28 he got his perfect match in July 2021. While that was a huge relief, it was still a period of recovery and adjustments.
“I was gaining weight, I was dealing with depression and anxiety, I was a little sad about the whole situation. I was happy to be alive, but I always remembered the things that you lost. I lost my mother in the same situation,” Milles says.
Doctors at Memorial Hermann asked George if he was mentoring Miles, as he had volunteered earlier to try to help other patients.
“I jumped on it and went to the hospital, met him, and we’ve been clicking since then,” George said. “There’s going back and forth and helping each other and doing the thing.”
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The friendship helped Miles thrive. He even wrote and recorded a song about his situation. He posted it during Heart Month in February.
Although the music helped, so did George’s mother, who also had a heart transplant 15 years ago. George shares his advice with Miles.
“Our friendship has helped both of us. Sometimes you get depressed, you have a tough day, you feel sorry for yourself and you feel guilty and we’re just there for each other in times. hard times and we’re here for the good times too. We’ve both missed a lot of life and we’re just trying to live it and see better things and be happy,” says George.
George recently met the family of his heart donor. It was one of the most emotional moments of his life, hugging the mother who had to let go of her 22-year-old son, knowing that George was living because of him.
Click here for more information on Heart Transplants at Memorial Hermann.