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World Champion Cowboy Receives Third Heart Just in Time

November 26, 2019
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Cardiothoracic surgeon Lyle Joyce, MD, performed rodeo cowboy Chuck Newman's second heart transplant at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Joyce also performed Newman's first heart transplant 31 years ago.
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Cardiothoracic surgeon Lyle Joyce, MD, performed rodeo cowboy Chuck Newman's second heart transplant at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Joyce also performed Newman's first heart transplant 31 years ago.

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- To become a world champion cowboy, it takes heart. Always one, sometimes two, but this time, three. Nearly 31 years after receiving his first heart transplant, Chuck Newman needed another.

The first was completed in 1988 by Dr. Lyle Joyce, MD, PhD, professor and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), then practicing in Minnesota. Three decades later, making him one of the top three longest living people in the world following a heart transplant, Newman found himself once again working with not only one Dr. Joyce, but another. Dr. David Joyce, Lyle’s son and associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at MCW, would be at his father’s side as they performed the transplant together.

Both heart surgeons at Froedtert & MCW, they realized that time was of the essence to find a new heart for the 73-year-old cowboy from Iowa. After three weeks of waiting and looking for the perfect match, the window to find Newman’s new heart was dwindling to just days. Miraculously, a match was discovered in a different state. With this window closing fast, Dr. David Joyce boarded a jet to travel and harvest the organ before getting right back on the plane to Milwaukee, where an organ transport emergency vehicle waited.

Newman received this new heart that same April 2019 day by the father-son surgeon duo and a supporting team of cardiovascular surgeons at Froedtert Hospital. Despite feeling almost immediately better post-transplant, Newman didn’t think he’d be able to get back on a horse for at least 12 weeks. Instead, this cowboy was saddled up and able to partake in teachings at a youth rodeo bible camp that is near and dear to his heart (as to his previous one) only 9 weeks after surgery.

“To be able to support Chuck again in this stage of his life and to see his progress is extremely rewarding,” said Dr. Lyle Joyce. “It is a testament both to his resilience and to the hard work and dedication to patients that our team at Froedtert & MCW embodies.”

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SOURCE Medical College of Wisconsin