Houston area man celebrates Valentine's Day with new heart

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Montgomery County man is celebrating Valentine's Day with a new heart.

Daniel and Patty Gonzalez have been together for more than 30 years.

"I went in for an echo and they said, 'Well, you're going nowhere. Your heart is down to like five percent or 10 percent,' Daniel said. "Life takes on a new meaning. Relationships take a new meaning."

After years of heart trouble, including multiple heart attacks, Daniel was approved for a heart transplant at the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute.

He waited on the transplant list for five years.

"You think you're ready, but you're not. You're never ready," explained Patty. "When the call comes, it's like, 'Okay, what do we do now?'"

On July 4, 2018, Daniel got a new heart.

Patty and their children were right by his side through the surgery and recovery.
"I get emotional," said Daniel. "I owe my life to her."

Daniel never met his organ donor. All he knows is that he was 31 years old, just a little older than he was when he met Patty.

The couple met in Houston, and quickly learned they had grown up in the same neighborhood in Uruguay.

They got married six months after meeting.

"To me, it was great," laughed Daniel.

"You just know. It's the right mix. It feels right," Patty added.

Daniel and Patty have gotten a little older and grayer since they first met.

Their kids are all grown up now, and the couple even welcomed their first grandchild.

"You just learn to appreciate, and you start considering everything you have," Patty said.
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