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Pat Sullivan: A Tribute, and Our Commitment to Carrying on His Legacy

This is a very difficult message to deliver. With heaviest hearts, we must share the passing of our beloved HeartBrothers Foundation Co-Founder, Patrick J. Sullivan. Pat indelibly touched the existence of virtually every person who crossed paths with the HeartBrothers Foundation. From the moment he and fellow Co-Founder Bob Romer forged their bond—as they awaited heart transplants during their yearlong stays at Tufts Medical Center over a decade ago—Pat fiercely dedicated himself to helping Heart Failure patients everywhere.


When they met, Pat and Bob vowed that if their heart matches came up—and their bodies could endure the wait, procedure, and recovery—they would start a nonprofit foundation to create the financial, educational, and emotional support system surprisingly lacking yet so desperately needed by fellow Heart Failure patients and their families. Pat and Bob received their donor hearts in 2012 and 2013 respectively, immediately set to work gathering the resources necessary to carry out their promise, and launched the HeartBrothers in September 2014.

Pat Sullivan (third from left) at the ribbon-cutting for the HeartBrothers House.

For the rest of his days, Pat held true to his word. He devoted his renewed life to building the HeartBrothers Foundation into the robust, multi-faceted organization that exists today.

Pat was so proud to share that in 2023 alone, the HeartBrothers held 23+ programs and events, launched our Heart Failure Awareness Campaign (drawing 2 million Google and Meta ad impressions and a website reach of 200,000 users and counting), produced five Heart Failure Awareness Webinars, held the First Annual HeartBrothers Foundation Run/Walk for Heart Failure Awareness (which galvanized 21 participating teams and 350 individual donors) and were honored by Johnson & Wales University as the chosen charity for their Physician Assistant Studies program’s annual event. Further, our HeartBrothers House is nearly always full, our 90+ Team HeartBrothers Ambassadors—Heart Failure survivors who journeyed through VADs, transplant, and beyond—greatly increased hospitals visits (providing patients much-needed emotional support and education), and our work continues to garner year-round press.

Tufts Medical Center staff lined the halls in February, 2024, to honor Pat Sullivan in a Legacy Walk.

While driving the HeartBrothers to achieve this incredible growth and establish so many successful programs and resources, Pat’s heartfelt support and ceaseless message of HOPE inspired many patients to join the HeartBrothers community, resulting in an ever-expanding, nationwide network of men and women who share the mission to ease the burden of life with Heart Failure.


HeartBrothers Foundation President & CEO Mike Ashworth—a fellow transplant survivor and HeartBrother since the organization's inception—remains committed to upholding the organization's mission, programming, and Pat’s vision to continually expand the HeartBrothers’ reach.


“With this message to the community, we wanted to pay tribute to Pat, and in so doing, highlight the impressive legacy he leaves behind with this organization he fully devoted his post-transplant life to,” said Mike. “For the past decade-plus, so many of us worked side-by-side with Pat to support the HeartBrothers Foundation. Everyone on the Leadership Team and at every level of the HeartBrothers is honored and determined to continue his vision, and work together to take the organization to the next level.”


Citing one ambition as an example, Mike continued, Pat and I shared a mutual goal for the HeartBrothers to get involved in a transplant patient’s journey as early as possible. The earlier we connect with patients, the greater chance we have of helping them improve their health. Our Heart Failure Awareness Program is a great first step in that direction.”

In Pat’s obituary, his family revealed they are formulating plans for a Celebration of Life (to be held in May 2024, details to be announced soon).


If you would like to honor Pat’s life and his relentless dedication to easing the burden of Heart Failure for patients and their loved ones, please consider making a donation to the HeartBrothers Foundation today.

Through his work with the HeartBrothers Foundation, Pat touched countless lives. To further honor his legacy, we are building a tribute wall here on our website, where the inspiration he generated can live forever, and inspire countless others to follow in his footsteps. If Pat impacted you or your world in some way, we invite you to share your tribute to Pat on our tribute wall.

With all our hearts, we thank you for being a member of the HeartBrothers community. We look forward to sharing the organization’s ongoing accomplishments with you as we lead the HeartBrothers Foundation ever-higher into the future—it is the best possible way we, as an organization, can pay tribute to the wonderful, incomparable Pat Sullivan.


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Today I would like to pay tribute to Pat. Although I did not have the honor to know Pat as well as I would have liked, on the times that I spoke with him what was obvious was his dedication and devotion to the Heart Brothers and to all of us whose unique circumstances brings us together. Pat was a fine man, a warrior, just the kind of guy you want when things get really tough. Our loss is heaven's gain.


My husband Sal and I met Pat and Bob at the very beginning of each of their journeys. Sal was an LVAD destination patient. They spent time together on Pratt8 and also at Kindred Rehab. He was a strong and dedicated man. Love and peace to him. I hope they are reminiscing in heaven.

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