After 30 years, heart transplant still giving Anderson man new lease on life

ANDERSON — Three decades ago, Gary Burke was given a new lease on life.

Burke, 68, received a heart transplant on Aug. 26, 1991, and has since enjoyed watching his two sons and grandchildren grow up.

Thirty years ago, Dr. Robert Begley determined that a flu infection had settled in Burke’s heart, he explained.

“Right away, Dr. Begley said I would need a heart transplant and sent me to a cardiologist in Indianapolis.”

Burke waited four months for the heart transplant and worked with Linda Wallace, his transplant coordinator.

“She was my right-hand lady,” he laughed during a Wednesday interview at his Anderson home. “I got one telephone call, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

“Three weeks later, I got a call to come to Indianapolis right away,” Burke said. “I was managing a miniature golf in Anderson and told the people to keep on playing because I had to leave.”

Burke’s brother-in-law, John Gentry, drove him to the Indianapolis hospital.

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