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Arthur Gay; Longest-Surviving Heart Transplant Recipient

June 03, 1993| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Arthur F. Gay, the longest-surviving heart transplant recipient, has died of cancer. He was 56 and had lived with the donated organ for 20 years and 4 months.

The Temple Hills, Md., man died at a hospital Monday night. He had been found to have cancer of the esophagus 2 1/2 weeks ago, his wife, Cynthia B. Gay, said.

Gay's own heart began to deteriorate after he contracted rheumatic fever when he was 11, and by his mid-30s he was experiencing fatigue and shortness of breath. After receiving the transplant at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, Va., he returned to work with the U.S. Postal Service in Washington.

According to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Gay was one of only a handful of heart transplant recipients to survive 20 years or longer. He was listed in the 1993 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-surviving heart transplant recipient.

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