Ross Township man, one of longest heart transplant survivors, makes us Proud to be from Pittsburgh

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — He’s a walking miracle. Joseph Pace of Ross Township is likely one of the longest survivors of a heart transplant in the country.

He had his done 29 years ago at Allegheny General Hospital and he’s sharing his success story.

Pace turned 85 last week and he still goes to the gym three days a week to walk a mile and lift weights.

You can see from these pictures that he has been pretty active since his heart transplant in 1992.

His surgeon says most people live 10 years after a heart transplant, but Pace’s body never rejected his heart, which is also very rare. Dr. George Magovern, Emeritus Chairman of the AHN Department of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery said 95% of them do.

“If someone could figure out why Mr. Pace never rejected his heart. That’s Nobel Prize in waiting,” said Magovern said.

“Take your medication as prescribed, keep your doctors appointments, show up for your tests,” said Pace.

That is what Pace thinks has helped him stay healthy all these years.

One more thing he wants you to know: Sign up to be an organ donor. Because he said it saved his life.