He was just about to witness the birth of his first child when the long-awaited call came: the doctors had found him a compatible heart and were ready to perform the transplant.

For Antonio Salvador, 39, who had been waiting for a new heart for years, it was a day when two life-changing events miraculously coincided at Madrid’s Gregorio Maranon Hospital.

“I wasn’t a father when I had surgery. I spoke to my wife over a video call and we wished each other the best of luck,” he said in a statement released by the hospital on Friday.

“When I woke up, the feeling of joy was twice as great,” said Salvador, who has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited disease of the heart muscle that can lead to sudden heart failure.

When the call came, Salvador was in the hospital’s delivery suite with his wife, admitting that it “took him a few minutes to decide because it would mean missing the birth of his first child”.

But his wife, Ana Maria Gonzalez, 44, was absolutely delighted.

“I couldn’t believe that after 10 years we would get the best thing in our life while Antonio got the life he needed,” she said.

“Our son Samuel brought a heart for his father.”

In 2002, Salvador got off the subway when he was in cardiac arrest but was resuscitated by a nurse from the same hospital.

As his condition continued to deteriorate, a heart transplant was the only answer, so they started looking for a compatible donor, who finally came in last month.

“That day he was born again and his son was born too. I am sure you will remember it forever,” said Manuel Ruiz Fernández, the specialist who performed the transplant.

With the birth of his son on the day his own life was saved for the second time thanks to the transplant, Salvador says the family will now celebrate “three birthdays”.

“The truth is that two very special moments that we had been waiting for happened at exactly the same time,” he said.

Boy gets a heart transplant after 17 months in the Italian hospital

© 2021 AFP

Quote: The Spaniard receives a heart transplant call as the woman gives birth (April 9, 2021). It was accessed on April 9, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-spaniard-heart-transplant-wife-birth.html

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