Simon in the LA Times

Soccer Player With Transplanted Heart Upsets Thinking About Rehabilitation

November 23, 1990 
From the American Health and Psychology Today Service-Washington Post Writers Group
This was one scouting report the general manager had to check out himself. He walked up to Simon Keith, who was about to become his team’s top draft pick of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), and asked for clarification. “I understand you’ve got some sort of heart problem, some sort of valve job or something,” said the GM. Keith knew it was time to give yet another skeptic an education. He pointed to his chest, looked the GM square in the eyes and left no doubt about his medical status. Read More:

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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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