In the fall of 1997, John Guidry knew that his dizziness and shortness of breath were due to more than the everyday stress of being principal in a busy Houston high school. At Baylor St. Luke’s John was told he was in heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition which was causing his heart to pump at only 20 percent. Over the next few years, John received an LVAD and was placed on the heart transplant waiting list.
On the evening of June 12, 2000, John received word that he had a donor heart. “The nurse ran into my room and said, ‘Mr. Guidry, it’s a go, it’s a go!’” John remembers from that night inside Baylor St. Luke’s. “Everyone on the hospital floor came into the room and made a circle around me. They all joined hands and prayed. That meant a lot to me.”
Six months after his successful heart transplant at Baylor St. Luke’s, John was able to return to his job with Houston Independent School District.
In 2009 John began to experience symptoms of heart transplant rejection, a common reaction from the body’s immune system after organ transplantation. His team at Baylor St. Luke’s told him that he needed to be placed on the transplant waiting list again–this time for a heart and a kidney.
John received his second heart transplant on August 26, 2014, and a kidney transplant the following day. After two months, John was discharged from the hospital.
Now retired, John is living a full life. He serves as president of the Heart Exchange, a support group for transplant patients at Baylor St. Luke’s. In the years since his second heart transplant John and his wife joined a bowling league, something he never could have dreamed of doing before his surgery. Though he admits his wife is a better bowler, John is thankful to have a new spin on life.