S.C. dad in need of new heart gets donor just in time

ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) — An organ donor came just in time as an Easter miracle for one family from South Carolina.

A 39-year-old man from Anderson, S.C. has been battling cancer and congestive heart failure for years. Brandon McNeely was on a long wait list for a new heart. His health was on a decline.

McNeely’s family says he was preparing himself to go home in hospice care if doctors couldn’t find the right donor match for a new heart.

(Photo: Team McNeely/Facebook)
(Photo: Team McNeely/Facebook)

They finally got the good news on Good Friday.

“We went all in,” Kimberly McNeely, Brandon’s wife said. “It was a terrifying moment.”

Brandon is a stay-at-home dad, husband and before his health declined, he was a business owner. He was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was just a little boy and underwent chemotherapy in Greenville. Doctors say the treatment is what lead to his congestive heart failure six years ago.

Last year, his health got worse and he was put on a wait list for a new heart. Because of his blood type and health status, Brandon was high risk and there were concerns the wait would be too long for a donor.

The family found out that a good match turned up, with a heart that could work for Brandon over Easter weekend. They decided to undergo transplant surgery in Charlotte on Saturday.

Thankfully, Kimberly says her husband is doing well so far.

Now, his family is overwhelmed with joy but says they also mourn with the donor’s family.

“You know, if things went opposite, I can’t imagine how I would feel right now,” Kimberly said. “So, my heart goes out to them more than I could ever express. We are beyond ecstatic because he has a second chance but I don’t want to forget in the meantime, the ones who aren’t here right now.”

Brandon won’t know who the donor is for at least another six months, but of course, his family says they are extremely grateful.

Kimberly says her husband is still under sedation and will remain in the hospital for a while as doctor’s make sure his new heart is working well.

Brandon’s wife is taking one month, unpaid time off from work to take care of Brandon after his heart transplant surgery this weekend. They also have medical bills stacking up. Their friends have set up ways for people to donate to get them through the financial hardship.

To find out more about their family and ways to help, click here or here. You can also search on Facebook for “Team McNeely.”

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