Heart recipient runs five kilometres one year after transplant

SASKATOON – Less than a year ago, Terry Shrader could barely make it from his house to his car.

On Sunday, he ran five kilometres with a new heart. The transplant recipient said he’s incredibly grateful.

“It’s incredible,” said Shrader.

“Now I’m in the field house every morning, I’m on the treadmill, I’m on the elliptical,”

Twelve years ago, Shrader had breathing problems. His wife is a nurse, and she prompted him to go to their family doctor.

“He took an x-ray and showed us the x-ray and my heart was two times the size of a normal heart. And he says ‘you’ll probably need a heart transplant’,” Shrader explained.

Shrader had never been a sick person before the news. Doctors told him his condition was caused by a virus.

Story continues below advertisement

“When talking to people who’ve had this, that’s where most of them are, they just pick up viruses, like a cold virus,” said Shrader.

After years of suffering, Terry was fortunate enough to get a heart transplant last year. He says he’s one of the lucky ones.

“There are so many people out there that are waiting on a list for an organ,” said Shrader.

“Heart disease is certainly still the number one killer, and the end stage of heart disease is heart failure,” said Saskatoon Cardiologist Jason Orvold.

“Heart disease can be managed but it can’t be cured, and there are a large amount of patients like Terry that are waiting for a heart transplant,” said Orvold.

The second annual Heartbeat Run took place on the Mendel Riverbank. Not only did the run celebrate survivors, but it also encouraged healthy living.

“It’s not hard to do, to get out and walk with your family. We’ve got a beautiful city that we can walk, there’s the Meewasin Trail, there’s so many great places you can go, and it’s easy to be healthy,” said Lisa Bergen, manager of Heart Health Operations at Royal University Hospital.

At the awards ceremony after the race, Terry thanked first and foremost the donor who allowed him to live.

Story continues below advertisement