Project Description

Bio by Connor Randall

Connor Randall is a two-time heart transplant recipient. When he was three months old he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy – essentially his heart was not growing with him. It was determined early on that he needed a heart transplant in order to survive.

 

This was back in the early 1990’s when infant heart transplantation was essentially a new technology. Connor and his family waited for three long months and he received his new heart on Mother’s Day of 1992 from a little boy from Texas. The surgery was a great success and he in many ways became a poster child for organ donation, volunteering as an ambassador for Children’s Hospital, The American Heart Association, and Donor Alliance.

 

It was when his parents, Mark and Linda, helped found an organization called Cardiac Kids, a support group for Children’s Hospital cardiac patients and their families, that they first came to know Samantha and the Remington family. Connor and Sammy were fast friends and were able to connect over their unique shared experience of being a heart transplant patient. They supported each other through tough times and Connor will always remember Sammy’s truly infectious smile.

 

Connor ran into issues again in July of 2003 when he fainted and it was discovered that he was in the beginning stages of coronary artery disease, a form of rejection. Things got worse and worse, and Connor got sicker and sicker, until it was determined that another heart transplant was the only course of action. The rejection progressed to the point where he likely only had a couple of weeks left to live. And then, just in time, the call came in. In July of 2005, after 13 long months, the miracle happened again when they got the call that a heart was waiting for him. This time from a 21 year old male.

 

When Connor woke up from the surgery, his dad Mark asked him how he felt. Connor said he felt great “because I don’t have to worry about my heart anymore.” And it was true! After 9 days in the hospital all the many tubes and wires were removed, Connor went through some radiation treatment for a few months, and returned to school to finish 8th grade.

 

Now over 11 years post-transplant, Connor feels fantastic and lives a healthy, fun life. He only goes to the hospital once every few months for routine checkups. Connor went on to graduate from high school as President of his senior class, and then graduated from Regis University in Denver with a degree in Political Economy. He now works as the Reader for the Colorado House of Representatives. In addition, he follows his passions for music as a drummer in a couple local bands, helps foster and rescue dogs with his family through a local rescue organization, and spends a lot of time researching and investigating ghosts and aliens, another passion of his.

 

He has a tattoo of a “3” on his left wrist that constantly reminds him that he’s had three hearts and is in a sense not just living for himself, but for two other people as well; the anonymous donors and their families who selflessly saved his life. He still volunteers his time spreading the word and raising awareness for organ donation and getting people on the registry to be donors.

 

Connor is incredibly grateful to his donors and their families, his own family for going through the tough journey of heart transplantation with him, and to the Samantha Remington Angel Heart Foundation for their selfless gift that will really help him with the finances he will soon have to incur when he takes on his own medical insurance.
He knows that it’s taken a lot of prayers, an amazing support system, and a strong faith not only in God but also in science and medical technology to get him to where he is and where he’s going.