A former soccer star from Victoria has been discharged from the University of California San Diego Health’s Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center 15 days after his second heart transplant and a kidney transplant.
In late 2018, Simon Keith learned he would need a second heart transplant more than 30 years after his first one when he was 21-years-old. He also needed a kidney and both organs had to come from the same donor, according to the Simon Keith Foundation.
After several months in and out of hospital, Keith received a new heart on March 17, 2019. A kidney transplant was done the next day.
“I will spend every day honouring the heroes and families who have saved me,” Simon said in a statement. “By sharing my story and the stories of those who’ve made it possible, I hope it inspires others to give the gift of life. Thank you to every person who is registered as a donor. You are a true hero.”
Keith, now 53, was a soccer star at Mount Douglas Secondary and played at the University of Victoria. He suffered from myocarditis.
Keith’s first heart came from a 17-year-old boy from Wales on July 7, 1986. Three years later, he started playing professional soccer and he started the Simon Keith Foundation in 2011 to raise awareness for organ donation and provide support for families whose children have had transplants. He is also the chief operating officer from the Nevada Donor Network.
To register as a donor in British Columbia, visit the BC Transplant website. Other province’s registeries can be found on here.