Triple transplant patient grateful for gift

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From NBC San Diego

Frank Murdock is a medical miracle. The 53-year-old retired Navy veteran is the recipient of three organ transplants. The odds of having this surgery is one out of every six billion people world wide according to officials at UCSD Thornton Hospital.

“I’m so grateful to be alive and thankful to others who are giving something, giving me a second chance,” said the Vista resident.

Murdock received a lung transplant in 2002. But doctors say necessary medication following the transplant affected his already weakened heart. Murdock’s heart began to progressively deteriorate and it became clear he would need a heart transplant. But there was another problem. Doctors said medication needed following the heart transplant would weaken Murdock’s kidney. The only solution: a heart and kidney transplant.

Murdock was moved to the top of the donor list about three months ago. Finally on June 25, word came that a young adult accident victim became a compatible donor. The procedure took 16 hours. Doctors at Thornton performed the heart transplant first. After waiting 6 hours to make sure there were no complications, they performed the kidney transplant.

“All I thought about was me getting better and working and having fun and smiling,” said Murdock. “And also taking care of myself.”

He says he drew much of his motivation for staying alive from his 11-year-old son Christopher, who once called 911 after his father suffered a heart attack. Murdock was determined to see his son grow up to be a man.

“Now he can be happy, he can go back to doing what he was doing. I can watch him. I can go out with him. I can take him to the mall and my wife doesn’t have to worry about me collapsing and him being out there alone,” said Murdock.

Doctors expect Murdock to be able to go home as early as Friday and no later than next Monday.

From NBC San Diego”: