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Scot Pollard, former Kings player, nears hospital release after heart transplant surgery

Former Sacramento Kings player Scot pollard receives new heart in successful transplant
Former Sacramento Kings player Scot pollard receives new heart in successful transplant 03:06

NASHVILLE - Former Sacramento Kings player Scot Pollard has been in heart failure for the last three years. He's been on several donor lists for a new heart ever since he came down with a virus that attacked his heart, the same genetic condition that killed his father 30 years ago. But now he's got a new heart.

Pollard is nearly 7 feet tall, and a guy that big needs a big heart. When CBS13 first spoke with him in early January, he said he needed two miracles. The first is a heart, the second being a heart big enough to pump through a pro basketball player's body. And on February 16, the miracles came.

"She heard the helicopter coming in and she was like, 'That's the one carrying your heart,' and she was right," Pollard said.

A tearful moment for Pollard and his family. After several instances of false hope, they finally found a heart that would work for him, just four days after his birthday. He's calling it the best present he's ever received.

"A big heart became available, wouldn't fit anybody else, it wouldn't fit a normal size person. All I know is it was a big man and we're going to reach out with a letter through the network," Pollard said.

Donor families have the option to remain anonymous, but Pollard wants the family to know his donor is his hero.

"It was good fortune for me. Keeping the donor's family in mind, it was good fortune for me that a big man with a healthy heart had passed and I say that knowing full well the tragedy they had to live through and losing their loved one. But, luckily, he was a donor and he saved a lot of people's lives," Pollard said.

The successful surgery at Vanderbilt University's Medical Center took five hours.

"I did not realize how sick I was. To wake up from a transplant of this magnitude and feel better, woah I was sick," Pollard said.

He said the difference is like night and day, and so far his recovery has been exceptional. There's a possibility he'll get to leave the hospital as soon as Thursday.

"They don't let many people out after two weeks," Pollard said. "I was an athlete. My body is used to tough stuff happening to this body. Now I got a heart that can pump the correct amount of blood and get it around my system."

Pollard said he has a long road ahead and will remain in Nashville to heal for the next few weeks to keep running tests.

"Since the transplant, I've really felt the support and prayers of so many people and I know I'm fortunate because of that. I know a lot of people and a lot of people know me. Thank you to everyone that has been supportive because I do feel it," he said.

Pollard told CBS13 that he feels like a whole new person with his new heart. He no longer has shortness of breath and says he can't stop talking. He says his wife, Dawn, digs his new scar. 

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