Brian Gilliam

In 2004, a congenital heart condition known as acquired prolonged QT interval syndrome landed Brian Gilliam in the emergency room with fibrillation (rapid, irregular heartbeat), which led to a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. “I had a 42-year-old body with an 80-year-old heart,” Brian recalls.

In November 2008, Brian received a successful heart transplant at Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center and was released to go home just before Christmas. “The next March, I went to the golf course by my home in Huffman, Texas,” says Brian. “I was still wearing the blue sterile gloves and the mask and went out to the middle of the fairway on the tenth hole. I threw a ball down, took one swing and hit the ball straight down the middle.”

Now Brian is back at work, enjoying life with his wife, daughters and grandchild — and even competing in the Transplant Games of America. He continues to play golf every weekend, although he admits, “The new heart didn’t make me any better of a golfer.”