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Former Congressman discharged from The Methodist Hospital after heart transplant

Houston, TX - 10/4/2007

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson [download bio] was discharged Thursday from The Methodist Hospital in Houston after undergoing a lifesaving heart transplant 10 days ago.

Wilson, 74, received a donor heart Sept. 24 after spending nearly two months on the transplant list. The former congressman, from Lufkin, served his district from 1973-1997. As a powerful member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, Wilson helped funnel billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Afghan fighters during the Soviet-Afghan war, which ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Union. His exploits were chronicled in the best-selling book Charlie Wilson's War, and in a movie this Christmas starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

About Heart Transplants:

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, today there are 97,000 people awaiting transplants in the United States, and the need for more donors continues to grow. In 2006, there were 28,930 organ transplants and 14,755 organ donors (deceased and living). Every 11 minutes, a name is added to the national transplant waiting list and an average of 18 people die each day while waiting for organs.

About Methodist Transplant Center (MTC):

The Methodist Transplant Center is the only center in Houston that performs all solid organ transplants—heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas.  In Sept. 2007, surgeons performed Methodist's 3000th transplant since 1963.  That year, legendary surgeon Dr. Michael E. DeBakey performed a kidney transplant, and just five years later, he and his team performed one of the first 12 heart transplants in the world.

Views of the Heart:

About Charles Wilson:

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, a native of Trinity, Texas, served as congressman for the Texas 2nd district from 1973-1996.  A former U.S. Navy lieutenant, Wilson also served in the Texas House of Representatives (1960-66) and the Texas Senate (1966-72). Read the full bio...

"Heart failure is a devastating disease that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans&quo