Simon Keith is, literally, a walking miracle.  In 1989, the former soccer standout for at UNLV, made history by becoming the first heart transplant recipient to play professional sports.  Keith was the number one pick in that year’s professional indoor soccer draft and, at the time, many celebrated him for the distinction of his role as a heart recipient playing his sport at such a high level.  Keith ignored the media hype because he didn’t want special treatment.  Worse, he didn’t want to be seen as a “less-than-before athlete,” he said.  Against the naysayers and his doctor’s wishes, Keith wanted to compete and be the best on the field…and he wasn’t going to let a life-altering experience sideline him.

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Get the Book! Heart For the Game

Simon Keith is not only one of the longest-living heart transplant recipients, he is also the first to have ever played professional sports after a transplant. This is his remarkable story. It is the story of one of the most talented young soccer players in North America, on his way to playing for his country in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Unfortunately, Simon never made that trip. He was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease and given only a few weeks to live. Then something extraordinary happened. Perilously close to death, Simon received the gift of a heart donation. Simon was given a second chance, from the most ironic of donors. Following his heart transplant, not only did Simon return to play professional soccer becoming one of the best players in North America for the second time, he went on to live the life he always dreamed of having.

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