A Des Moines, Iowa, man has a new lease on lifesaving thanks to a heart transplant earlier this month.
Khalil Adams, 27, waited on the recipient list for over five years, according to KCCI. His mother spoke exclusively to the news outlet about her son.
“Khalil doesn’t really meet strangers,” Tinika Roland said. “He can talk to anyone. Someone recently said that he can’t turn the charisma off.”
The handsome restaurant employee’s harrowing medical journey began in 2017 after he began having issues breathing normally. It was the prompting of his boss that made him finally take a trip to the emergency room. Doctors sent him to Iowa City, where he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. The condition is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a type of heart muscle disease that causes the heart chambers (ventricles) to thin and stretch, growing larger. It typically starts in the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle). Dilated cardiomyopathy makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.”
Khalil’s heart was three times the size of a normal heart.
“His heart function was 12 percent for left ventricle, and average is 50 to 70 percent,” Tinika told KCCI. Although Khalil went immediately on the transplant list and made a top priority, physicians at the University of Iowa Hospital found another problem in September- a blood clot. His condition had become so severe that he had to be monitored at the university hospital.
On December 21, Tinika announced on Facebook that a donor heart had been found for Khalil.
“Khalil Khronicles: Tuesday, 12-20-22, I’ll start out with saying “MERRY CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS”. Tuesday makes 11 weeks at University of Iowa Hospital, awaiting a heart transplant.
UPDATE: Received a call at 9:30am stating they found a donor. They expanded the search and only looked at donors that had antibodies that did not conflict with Khalil’s. He always said ‘plays well’ There is still one more test they have to complete in the operating room to confirm it is the best match, and there will not be a risk to Khalil,” the excited mom penned.
“Found out while driving to Iowa City that OR time is 7:30am. They will begin prepping him at 5am. You see he is now clean shave. No facial hair. So as of right now transplant date is Wednesday, December 21, 2022. ( My dad’s 76th birthday ) After 5 1/2 years of living with an LVAD/heart pump and a subcutaneous ICD under his left arm the time had finally come. Ready to step into 2023 with something new. More work begins as we continue this journey. The road to recovery will be intense. If you ever had severe pain, especially in the chest area, you simply don’t want to be bothered sometimes. Please allow grace if My KD doesn’t respond to calls, text messages or social media for awhile. After tomorrow night, he will be in the Cardiovascular ICU for weeks.”
“He made then decision to donate his heart to science to be able to help others out in the future who carry the gene or have similar condition. Also, it may help them find out what they saw on the echo and other tests. Was it a thrombus or something else,” Tinika continued..
“Thank you for all your support, words of encouragement and financial support through the Gofundme and other means. Transplant and long-term chronic illness may result in significant long-term debt. Please know we greatly appreciate your generosity. I personally want thank my FB Fam for all your love and kindness,” she concluded.
“We are thankful to the donor and praying for their family and loved ones through this transition. FOREVER GRATEFUL ”
The doting mother also announced when Khalil’s surgery was complete.
“Khalil Khronicles: 6:43pm received text SURGERY IS COMPLETE and donor heart is functioning well. He still has the ICD under left arm and a portion of the LVAD wire in his abdomen is still there. Surgeon said it was a long day and they will go back in a few days to take them both out… its safer. He is now on the Cardiovascular ICU. Stay Tuned.”
Khalil appeared to be responding well to the heart, and both mom and son are grateful for the donor who made his new life possible.
The GoFund for Khalil asks for $50,000 that would help pay for medical expenses. It was created in October and has only raised $15,885 of its goal.
You can donate here.
We wish Khalil the best.