HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Three Pennsylvania brothers — Brian, Greg, and Steve Allen — are celebrating a second chance at life after they successfully received heart transplants at Hershey Medical Center over the last few years.
“It was a miracle. The whole thing is a miracle,” Greg Allen, who had his transplant seven months ago, said.
After losing six family members to congestive heart failure, the Allen boys always knew there was a chance they would be diagnosed with it, too.
“We lost our father at age 58, his mother at 42, and he also lost brothers in their 30s and 40s. It’s like a curse,” Greg Allen said.
But what Greg Allen and his two brothers didn’t know was that unlike those who came before them, they would receive a second heart and ultimately, a second chance at life.
“I was gonna beat it, I was gonna get out ahead of it,” Brian Allen said. “We realized this was a very aggressive disease, so the doctors at Hershey put me on a transplant list right away.”
Despite being on the list, Brian Allen almost didn’t receive a new heart.
“It was one of the last days they would have been able to treat me before the organs deteriorated to the point they couldn’t give me a transplant,” Brian Allen said.
But then a family friend — who is also a pastor — came to visit him.
“He prayed, ‘Lord, if it’s in your will to give this man a heart, give it to him now,'” Brian Allen said. “Twenty minutes later they came down the hall and found me a heart.”
It was that faith, the Allen brothers say, that kept them going.
“We’ve each been on a very long journey over the years, through the heart failure, surgical procedures, and then finally the transplant,” Steve Allen, who got his new heart in 2015, said.
The brothers celebrated their newfound life with family, friends, and Hershey Medical Staff on Sunday. Though they said they couldn’t have done it without their support system, they also recognize that they would not be alive had it not been for the generosity of a stranger.
“It was a gift from God that we were all able to get transplants through the generosity of organ donors,” Brian said.