Gift of Life Lets Wheatfield Man Gain Strength to Help Raise 2 Young Children

From: University of Rochester Newsroom

Tim Synor considers himself a lucky man. He is recovering from a heart transplant at the University of Rochester Medical Center and recently returned home to his wife, toddler son and infant daughter in Wheatfield.

“I am so grateful to the donor and their family and the doctors and nurses who cared for me. I am also incredibly thankful for all of the support that my family and I received during my illness. I have a new lease on life now. I feel better than I’ve felt in a long time and amexcited to resume my life with my family,” said Synor, 46. His wife, Cathie, 2 ½ -year-old Nathan and six-month-old Caitlyn welcomed him home July 24 , after five months at Strong Memorial Hospital

He received the heart July 7 after life-saving surgery performed by H. Todd Massey, M.D., surgical director of URMC’s Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation. URMC is the only center in upstate New York to perform heart transplants and offer specialized pumps, such as ventricular assist devices.

Synor was diagnosed with non-ischemic viral cardiomyopathy, a form of heart failure, in 2004 and cardiologist Patrick Chan Lam, M.D., of Western New York Cardiology Group, managed his care with medications, cardiac rehabilitation, a pacemaker and defibrillator.

“I was feeling pretty good and continued to work after my diagnosis. My wife and I had our son and we were expecting our second child when my heart function got worse,” said Synor, who operated Synor Marketing for 20 years. He was hospitalized several times in November and December and “being stubborn and worried, I told the doctors that I am waiting for our daughter’s birth. I just had to see my baby girl born.”

Caitlyn was born Jan. 25 and two weeks later, Synor traveled to URMC to see heart failure cardiologist Jeffrey Alexis, M.D. Tests showed his heart function was extremely poor and a heart transplant was needed. He was hospitalized Feb. 20 to wait under the watchful eyes of the doctors and nurses who specialize in heart failure care.

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