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Saskatchewan double-organ transplant recipient ready to return to the diamond

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Jonathan Mudryk, 29, wasn’t expected to live past nine years old and he’s now a double-organ transplant recipient who’s ready to get playing sports – Apr 26, 2022

Jonathan Mudryk was born in 1993 with complex congenital heart disease and at just two months old, he had his first open-heart surgery. That surgery would be the first of many.

“He’s had a total of 50 surgeries but two years ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer,” said Brenda Mudryk, Jonathan’s mom.

The 29-year-old was then put on the transplant list where he waited for six months. Then, in March 2021, he became the first patient in western Canada to successfully receive a combined heart and liver transplant.

Read more: Saskatchewan organ transplant patients still waiting for surgeries

Jonathan had a watershed stroke during surgery and doctors said he would never eat, walk or talk again.

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“I just looked at this doctor and I said, you know, if anybody can do this, Jon can because he’s that type of child,’ Brenda said. “He’s got so much determination.”

For the last year, Jonathan has been busy in therapy with his eyes set on returning to the game he loves.

“I grew up playing baseball,” Jonathan said. “My mom and dad played baseball.”

The baseball player has been part of Special Olympics Saskatoon since 2009 and this will be his first season back in three years. During his time off from the game, he was awarded the Inspire Through Sport award through Sask Sport.

Read more: Organ donation program resumes, but only partially: Saskatchewan Health Authority

“He doesn’t use the word ‘I’ a lot unless he’s talking about himself and how he needs to be better,” said Jonathans’s coach Dave Hume. “It’s always ‘we.'”

Hume can’t think of anyone more inspiring and deserving of the award. As Jonathan gets ready to play again, he hopes his story sends a bigger message to others.

“Don’t give up,” Jonathan said. “If it doesn’t work, it’s not your fault. Make sure everyone does their best.”

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He’s ready for a season that’s just a few weeks away.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan organ transplant patients still waiting for surgeries' Saskatchewan organ transplant patients still waiting for surgeries
Saskatchewan organ transplant patients still waiting for surgeries – Mar 16, 2022

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