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Ensuring Heart Failure Patients Know There's Life After Diagnosis

Meet Lenny Boisson, the epitome of health. He hits the gym four times a week, covers four to five miles on foot daily, but what's not immediately visible is his remarkable journey as a heart transplant survivor.

Lenny smiling, wearing black button up and gray suit coat.
Lenny Boisson, Post-Transplant

Lenny's journey through heart failure commenced on Christmas Day in 2021, a shocking revelation at just 42. "My heart felt like it was bursting through my chest, and I couldn't fathom why," Lenny recalls. Within weeks, he received the daunting diagnosis.


"I couldn't wrap my head around it," admits Lenny, a man who hadn't been ill in two decades, crediting his daily glass of orange juice for his robust health. "I thought, 'Give me my meds, and I'll be fine.' But the doctors exchanged glances and said, 'Time isn't on your side.'" With a prognosis that gave him until June, Lenny chose to block out any notion of his mortality.


Placed on the heart transplant list with his heart functioning at only 10%, Lenny returned home to await his fate. On June 12th, everything spiraled further downward. "I felt dreadful. I was practically immobile," he recounts. Rushed to the hospital, he learned his heart was now operating at a mere 3%.


But then, fortune smiled upon Lenny, delivering another life-altering moment. On July 3rd, his doctor approached him with astounding news. "He said, 'I have something from the bank.' And I quipped, 'From Bank of America?' 'No,' he replied, 'I have a heart for you.'"


Lenny’s hurdles didn't end with the transplant. Complications arose as two chambers of his new heart malfunctioned, plunging him into a nine-day coma. Still, he pressed on. A little while after his discharge from the hospital, he saw his primary care physician, who remarked, "We ran all the tests. We wouldn't know you had surgery."

Now, as a HeartBrother, Lenny channels his health triumph to uplift fellow heart failure patients. "When I visit patients, I want them to see the light beyond the diagnosis," Lenny asserts. "I felt compelled to pay it forward because someone else's loss is what has granted me life." Engaging with up to 16 heart failure survivors weekly via text and frequenting hospital visits, Lenny likens the bond to a tight-knit brotherhood.

Team HeartBrothers at the hospital visiting patient on bed.
Lenny (left) with fellow Team HeartBrothers (Jay, Hamid and Tommy) visiting a patient at Tufts Medical Center.

"Some days are a battle. Others, I have to glance at my scar to remind myself," reflects Lenny. His enduring counsel to all he encounters: "Embrace today. Tomorrow isn't promised."


For more Survivor Stories, click here.


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