Garen Armstrong

Garen’s Story

In 2016, Garen developed a sinus infection that spread to his heart. Within 45 days, his heart was failing, and he was rushed to the hospital. Doctors determined that his heart's ejection fraction was only 10%, and the only way to save his life was to implant a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This device, which runs on batteries outside the body, would pump blood and keep his organs alive while he waited for a heart transplant.

Garen became the first person at the University of Kansas Hospital to receive the HeartMate 3 LVAD. He lived with the device and batteries for three years while waiting for a donor heart, trying to stay as active as possible with Shamrock and his three children. However, the LVAD also caused complications - Garen accidentally tore it out once, requiring emergency surgery to reattach it, and later developed another infection.

In 2020, while still waiting for a heart and battling the LVAD infection, COVID-19 hit. Garen was in the ICU, not knowing if he would survive. After connecting online with other heart transplant patients, some of whom passed away, Garen finally got the call that a donor heart was available. He underwent a successful transplant surgery, hearing his own heartbeat again for the first time in 3 years.

In total, over 5 years now, Garen has endured multiple open-heart surgeries. At age 40, with no prior health conditions besides a sinus infection, he did not expect he would come so close to death and be given a second chance at life. Garen now advocates for the American Heart Association, sharing his story to raise awareness and support for heart disease research. He feels fortunate to still be here for his kids and wants to create awareness and support for those in need of donors. His desire is to battle for their lives and their families, who are hanging on to a thread of hope for a match.

Garen's story is a profound journey of resilience, family love, and his own battle. Throughout this ordeal, Garen continued to lead his company, Shamrock Roofing and Construction, and stay involved with his family. He speaks of the immense support and adaptation from his team during his health struggles, highlighting how their growth and strength paralleled his own journey.

Garen is also passionate about the mental health challenges within his industry, emphasizing the importance of support and communication. He urges his peers to focus on what truly matters beyond monetary success – a lesson he learned through his own experiences.

Garen wants to be remembered for his work ethic, humility, and living a life guided by faith. He aspires to impact others positively, including those within his company and beyond.

Garen Armstrong
Garen Armstrong
Garen Armstrong
Garen's Journey
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