Thirteen Years Later, His Heart Goes On

August 27, 2009

The Morning Call

HUP physician assistant Christopher Wolfe's amazing personal triumph over illness and adversity is featured in The Morning Call. By the age of only 14, Chris had experience more than most would in a lifetime -- a heart transplant and a subsequent battle with cancer induced by the anti-rejection drugs. Chris battled his way through a series of obstacles on his road to recovery -- including further abdominal surgeries to close a hole in his diaphragm left by the ventricular assistance device which kept him alive until he received a heart and five surgeries on his right eye. But instead of his experiences creating an aversion to hospitals, Chris became a health care provider himself as a physician's assistant. What truly brought Chris full circle, however is when he was hired by HUP and began working with Michael Acker, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery -- the very same surgeon who performed his heart transplant. "The irony of this and wonder of the story is hard to get away from," Acker says. "He's a great guy and happens to be a wonderful physician assistant taking care of our heart surgery patient." In addition to working at HUP, Chris also assists Lehigh Valley psychiatrist, mainly tending to dementia patients at a nursing home." As a transplant (survivor), you have to live day by day,"Wolfe says. "Prepare for the worst and hope for the best." Read More