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Doctors Are Using Diseased Organs To Save Lives. Here’s How

October 26, 2017

For two long years, Tom Giangiulio jr., 58, was on the national waiting list for a heart transplant. He had cardiomyopathy, a condition that can weaken the heart muscle, and although he’d taken medication and had surgery to fix the problem, his doctors said there wasn’t much more they could do. He would have to wait for a new heart—and hope that he wouldn’t become one of the 20 Americans to die every day while waiting for a transplant.

“You wake up every morning and wonder if you’re going to be around to go to sleep at night,” says Giangiulio, who lives in Waterford Works, N.J. “It’s like looking into the tunnel, and there’s no light on the other end.”

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