Picnic held for Duke heart transplant patients

Posted August 28, 2010 11:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2010 3:17 p.m. EDT

— More than 100 heart patients gathered Saturday at a picnic to celebrate successful transplant surgeries at Duke University Hospital.

Several patients received awards at the event, which was held at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

Heart transplant recipient Janet Bowen said her surgery gave her a chance to spend more time with her husband.

“I just wanted two more years to spend with my husband. Because of my transplant, we just celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. So, I’ve had six more years to live with him and that's wonderful,” Bowen said.

Since recovering from her 2004 surgery, Bowen counsels other transplant patients and helps promote organ donations.

In the last 25 years, doctors at Duke have performed more than 700 transplant surgeries.