Len Strickland

His symptoms began with dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and edema in the ankles, feet and calves. After visiting with multiple doctors, in 2007, Len Strickland was diagnosed with Familial Amyloidosis, a rare hereditary disease that eventually leads to congestive heart failure.

After approximately a year of tests, in March 2008, Len was officially placed on the regional heart transplant list. The categories of placement on the list are 1A, 1B and 2 with 1A being the most severe. Len was told he had been designated as a 2 and told to keep his hopes at a minimum.

Then, on Wednesday, June 11, three months and one week after being placed on the bottom of the waiting list, Len went into surgery and an hour and a half later, awoke to a new heart. The only reason Len says he received his new heart in such a short period of time was due to the fact that he was the only AB positive blood type recipient on the list.

“I am extremely fortunate and blessed for my new heart, and the most stimulating aspect of this journey is that my wife, Karen, and I have been able to spend quality time with our grandchildren. We have been able to travel and live our lives as we did prior to my transplant and see the world. Since my transplant we have traveled to nineteen countries, including Antarctica”.

Len says he will continue to tell his story to encourage others: “If I can do it, it is possible with positive thoughts and determination. You can as well.”

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