OXFORD - A chance meeting led to a life-saving heart transplant for a man in Oxford, Massachusetts.
"If it wasn't for Jay, I don't think I'd be here today and I mean that," David Kornwolf said of his new heart and the man who helped him get it, Jay Toland.
Toland is a volunteer with the HeartBrothers Foundation in Marlboro, which provides resources for heart failure patients.
"I got the call and I looked at my wife and she said 'Jay go, this what you do'," Toland told WBZ-TV.
That call was from Kornwolf, a relative stranger to Toland at the time, reaching out needing a ride to the hospital after learning they found a heart for him. The problem was he only had a few hours to get to Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
"We were doing 90 down the Pike," Toland said about their trip to the hospital.
Kornwolf had been waiting for heart transplant since April, when was diagnosed with massive heart failure. But he was ranked a six on the priority list, the lowest you can be.
"So I never expected to see a heart for years," Kornwolf told WBZ.
While he was in the hospital last spring he met Toland, a heart transplant recipient himself. They exchanged phone numbers.
The foundation told Kornwolf that, if he qualified, he could ask for a lesser quality heart and hopefully get one sooner. He never expected that call would come only a few days later.
"They said, 'Do you want it?' and I said ,'Yeah I'll take it,'" Kornwolf said.
But there was a problem. The day before he got the call, Kornwolf got a new phone and didn't have any numbers saved to call someone to take him to the hospital.
That's when he remembered, he had Toland's business card.
"It was a God shot, it really was because nobody I know has ever gotten a call like that," Toland said.
Toland says it was an easy decision. He promised himself that if he got through his transplant alive, he was going to give back.
"This one heart that I got saved two lives already," Toland said.
Now Kornwolf hopes he can become an advocate for the HeartBrothers Foundation and help others like Toland helped him.
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