Simon in Sports Illustrated

  The Cleveland Crunch wanted to draft Simon Keith, but first there were a couple of questions the newest team in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) wanted to ask him. So at a luncheon the day before the college soccer all-star game, in WichitaKans., last July 7, Al Miller, the Crunch’s general manager, introduced himself to Keith, a 24-year-old forward from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Then Miller backed into the questions: “The word is that you had some kind of heart problem.” “Yeah,” Keith said. “What was it?” asked Miller. “A transplant.” “Uh, now what exactly does that mean, Simon?” Keith pointed to his chest and said… READ MORE  

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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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