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Heart transplant recipient shares story of perseverance, positivity

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It took 400 days, but a central Indiana man finally got the heart he desperately needed.

News 8 first introduced viewers to Omarr Gadling as he was preparing to spend his second Thanksgiving in the hospital.

Gadling says, with 400 days in the hospital, he’s lost a lot of muscle mass, but he’s rebuilding it with rehab support from IU Health.

One thing he hasn’t lost is his faith.

Gadling’s journey so far has set him on a new one: living life to the fullest.

“If this man can overcome 400 days’ stay in the hospital, if he can do all of that, I can endure, too.”

Anyone on the heart transplant list never knows when an organ will be available. So, they learn to build up patience and positivity.

Gadling said, “I’m hoping to be a beacon for a transplant patient. Not just heart, but kidneys, lungs all types of transplants. And I want to be that example that you can live a normal life.”

While getting acclimated to a new heart, Gadling says he’s building up his strength to make the most of it, one step and one lap at a time. “This is beneficial for me because it’s building up everything that I need to build.”

Gadling says he hopes his story doesn’t draw pity, but instead inspiration for someone who may not see the positivity in the fight. “I want people to know that no matter what you’re going through in life don’t ever give up.”

Gadling says he has a lot of plans for 2023, and it will start with a book of poetry about his stay at the hospital.