Patrick Holland’s flight to get a new heart was canceled in December due to an ice storm. Three months later, he has a new heart.
Seattle – Three months after the an An Alaskan man missed a lifesaving operation in December due to the devastating ice storm in Seattle, he is currently recovering after receiving a new heart from the UW Heart Institute.
Patrick Holland now has a new heart and life.
“Before that I could do two laps around our kitchen counter and I’m done chasing my kid and when I get home I’m going to chase his shit on the playground,” Holland said. – It’s emotional, because he doesn’t have me.”
Holland is a father of seven from North Pole, Alaska. KING 5 first spoke to Holland when his flight from Fairbanks to Seattle was canceled during an unprecedented ice storm that grounded all flights in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. In the end, he lost the option of a heart transplant.
“I think I cried more that day than I ever have in my life, and I felt all the emotions I’ve ever felt,” Holland said. “To get out of this joke, I immediately said, ‘Thank God, there will be a family that saves somebody’s father, somebody’s brother, somebody, somebody’s uncle.’
Months later, Holland is back in Seattle with a new heart.
“I can’t even explain it,” Holland said. “It’s like literally dying and someone saying there’s new life.”
The road here was full of ups and downs. Heart disease runs in Holland’s family, and he was eventually diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 39. After three pacemakers, major bypass surgery and numerous other procedures, he was put on the transplant list at age 57.
“My life was slowly being taken away every six months,” Holland said. – Every heart attack. With every heart attack, you lose another part of yourself.”
After missing his first chance at a new heart, Holland wasn’t going to let it happen again and came to Seattle in January to wait for the next call.
“Then I got a call and I told everybody I’m sorry I have to go and that I have a heart attack, they couldn’t tell me what it was,” Holland said.
The same scenario happened two more times, after the phone rang on March 30, and he received the fifth call to his heart.
“The doctor looked at me and said, ‘I’ll see you when you wake up,'” Holland said. “And I woke up, and I have a new heart, and it’s beating with power.”
Holland did have a post-op scare with internal bleeding, but he may not make it.
“There is a real happiness flowing here, which is definitely a gift from God,” said Holland. – Believe in what you want to believe, but this is a gift. It’s a miracle.”
Holland was released from the hospital on April 27, and that’s when Jim Palzer stepped in.
“I was having my morning cup of coffee and watching the news, and I saw one of Patrick’s,” Palzer said.
Palzer, who is also Alaska Native, knew he had to help. He closed the doors on his home in Newcastle and moved to Seattle to be Holland’s caregiver for the next two and a half months.
“I like helping people,” Palzer said. – I pay for it in advance. I’ve had a lot of people help me in my life, and that’s how I repay people like Patrick.”
Palzer helps Holland recover and get back to enjoying the little things in life.
Holland has a kind heart, and in addition to returning to his family, he is looking forward to helping the elderly in Alaska.
“I’m going to help a lot of people with that kind of heart, so those of you out there, don’t worry,” Holland said. “It’s not going to be wasted.”
If you want to help Holland, you can make a donation to this GoFundMe here.