Transplant gives local man new outlook on life


Transplant gives local man new outlook on life
January 10
09:19 2019

Imagine going to see your doctor because you haven’t been feeling like yourself, and then rushed to the hospital and told there’s a 50 percent chance that you could die.

While that scenario may be hard to imagine, for Sherman Transou that was the reality he faced. Transou, who owned a landscaping business at the time, was spreading pine needles on Jan. 9, 2017, when he noticed he kept having shortness of breath. The next day Transou went to the doctor to get checked out and that’s when he got the earth-shattering news.

Doctors diagnosed Transou with congestive heart failure and told him that his heart was only pumping 10 percent of blood, while the average heart pumps between 55 and 75 percent.

“… He said my heart was so enlarged that it would never retract back to the point that it can pump blood on a regular basis,” Transou said.

While sitting down with The Chronicle, Transou said he let depression seep into his mind for about two days, then he decided that he wasn’t going to let this roadblock defeat him. He said, “I decided I was going to surrender and just give everything to God. I told God that if I lived, that I wanted to take my story, my message that was given to me and share it with people throughout the world with his scriptures.”

Transou said growing up his father, who passed away when he was only 13, was also a big factor in his mindset during that point in time. He said his father taught him to take every obstacle in life and learn from it.

He said, “My dad used to always tell me, it’s not about the path you follow, it’s about the path you create. So that’s what I have tried my best to do.”

After spending 54 days in the hospital and relying on a mechanical heart for about five months, in June of 2017 Transou got the call he had been waiting for. The team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center had found a heart.

“I got that grand call on June the 17th of 2017. I thought ‘God is listening and he hears me.’ He hears my cry and I get a second chance on life,” continued Transou. “… I arrived at the hospital on the 18th and the heart flew in on the 19th and they put it in. It was a female out of Alabama; she was 40 years old. She died in a car wreck. Totally grateful for her unselfishness.”

Along with his new heart, Transou received a new, healthier outlook on life. He said after another extended stay at the hospital following the transplant surgery, Transou changed his diet, started exercising, and made up in his mind that he was going to run a 26-mile marathon.

“I knew that if I put forth the effort, I could make it one step at a time. I started out walking; eventually I got to the point where I would walk, run, walk, run, until I got up to the point where I could do a mile running and maybe two miles walking,” he said. “As time went on, I would set increment goals and currently I can run 12 miles consecutively.”

Although he hasn’t reached his goal of running in a marathon yet, Transou said in 2019 he’s going to make it happen.

“… I will do it. I’ll find a place, whether it is Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston, somewhere I’m going to run it.”

While running every day preparing for the marathon and speaking at various venues across the triad, Transou still finds time to volunteer regularly at Samaritan Ministries and other nonprofits in the area. Transou said wherever he goes, he encourages others to face their obstacles head on and learn from them.

“I just want to be able to give people an ounce of hope because that’s all we need is one ounce of hope. When you look back at life, something may knock you down, but it’s not the fall that gets you, it’s the getting up that empowers you. That’s the way I’ve lived my life and I don’t know any other way to live. Adversity comes and it goes, you just have to learn how to embrace them and grow from them.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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