Heart transplant patient has graduation ceremony in hospital

A heart transplant patient accepted his degree from Columbus State University in a special ceremony Saturday at Emory University Hospital.

Grant Martin was born with a congenital heart defect called Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries.

“The way I’ve heard it put is basically all my plumbing is there, it was just backwards when I was born,” Martin told FOX 5.

According to the Adult Congenital Heart Association, “congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA) is a rare heart defect in which the heart’s lower half is reversed.”

With the help of his care team, Martin has been maintaining his health since birth, but in April, doctors admitted him to Emory University Hospital and added him to the heart transplant list.

Emory University Hospital held a special college graduation ceremony for a heart transplant patient.

His admittance came just weeks before the Columbus State University graduation.

“Eventually, my case made it all the way up to our president at CSU. She sat down with my professors, looked at my hours, looked at all the work I had done, and, in the end, they felt I had done enough to really warrant having fulfilled my degree,” Martin said.

Working with Columbus State University, Emory University Hospital put together a special ceremony for Martin.

Emory University Hospital held a special college graduation ceremony for a heart transplant patient.

“We were just determined to figure out a way to get him across the finish line,” Dr. Christina Thaler, Adult Congenital Cardiologist at Emory, told FOX 5.

Martin accepted his degree in a conference room of Emory University Hospital before family, friends, and his care team.

“As someone who had given up on that, it was a really great high moment,” Martin said.

Emory University Hospital held a special college graduation ceremony for a heart transplant patient.

“It really is what we’re here for every single day, for all of our patients to make these milestones happen,” Dr. Thaler told FOX 5.

Martin is still on the heart transplant list.

After successfully completing his surgery, Martin plans to put his degree to use as a teacher.

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