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Former High School Tennis Phenom awaits Heart Transplant

  • Broadcast in Current Events
The Peoples Studio

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Ivan Harrell doesn’t strike you as the sort of ‘fella’ who needs anything from anyone.  In fact, the tall spectacled former high school tennis champ exudes so much confidence you’d never know he suffers from eight chronic health conditions - any of which could kill him. Still, despite having to endure numerous medical procedures, the deaths of both his father and brother, and assisting with the care of his ailing mother, Harrell seems almost nonchalant about his latest challenge, finding a heart.

In 1993, Ivan was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia and high blood pressure. Doctors implanted a defibrillator that puts his heart back into sinus rhythm. Ivan has since been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and a blood clot. He also has 50% blockage of his main artery. Doctors say a heart transplant is critical to his survival.

On Sunday September 30, the Durham community and friends are invited to attend The 2nd Annual Organ Donor/Transplant Surgery Awareness Day at Union Baptist Church located at 904 N. Roxboro Street.  The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will feature the musical stylings of the 100 Men In Black Choir, donor and recipient testimonials, speakers and more. Collaborating agencies include the National Foundation for Transplants, UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital, Carolina Donor Services and Union Baptist Church.