Cloyd Powell

When he retired from the U.S. Army as a master sergeant after 24 years, Cloyd Powell was the picture of perfect health. But during a routine physical exam, a cardiologist found Cloyd’s heart was twice the normal size and diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy.

Despite the temporary success of medications, a pacemaker and an investigational stem cell transplant, Cloyd's condition continued to deteriorate throughout the next several years. During a family vacation in 2009, Cloyd was struggling to breathe, so he went to a nearby hospital where the doctor told him he was a “dead man walking.”

Just a few days later with his family by his side, he was implanted with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) at Houston Methodist. “That LVAD device was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Cloyd said. His condition eventually required him to be listed as a priority for heart transplant, and he underwent a successful transplant on October 24, 2010.

Cloyd now enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children, volunteering his time to talk with other patients at Houston Methodist who face the need for LVADs or transplants. “I have so much support and am surrounded by people who treat me with courtesy, respect and genuine love,” he said.