Johnny Lemucchi’s Story

Over the past 34 years, Johnny has been working as a collegiate and high school soccer referee for both colleges and high schools. Heart failure nearly forced him to retire from the game because of his condition. It was discovered that Johnny was having a severe heart attack known as a “widow-maker” after an echocardiogram (EKG) revealed he was having a severe heart attack. An angiogram revealed that his ejection fraction — the amount of blood that leaves the heart every time it contracts — was only 14%, which indicated that he had heart failure. 

In an effort to treat Johnny’s heart failure, doctors used a number of interventions such as stents and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to try to treat him, but a few weeks later, he went into cardiac arrest. As soon as he was diagnosed, he was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant, but doctors worried that he would not survive long enough to receive one. As time ran out, doctors presented Johnny and his family with the possibility of a temporary total artificial heart (TAH) as a last resort.

Johnny received a heart transplant after a few months of waiting. As of now, he is enjoying time with his family, playing golf and going back to the soccer court as a referee. Besides this, he started this non-profit organization to help people who were in the same situation as he was.