Officer James Williams received a heart transplant after living with heart failure for over a decade. He is back on duty and grateful to be healthy.
Williams returned to the Eastern Illinois University police force in August. "I got goosebumps when I put my uniform back on," said the Desert Storm veteran who one day hopes to meet the family of the heart donor. "I can't even put into words how grateful I am that people choose to donate their organs or the organs of loved ones. I am extremely thankful to my donor family, and I am blessed to have a second chance."
On Monday Williams served as emcee at a free event hosted by the Carle Foundation health system, which provided care for his heart condition. At the event, Carle experts shared guidance for managing the disease.
"Every day at some point, I think how far I've come—mentally, physically and spiritually. I wasn't sure I'd make it sometimes. I doubted myself sometimes, but because of doctors, nurses, friends and family, I cleared some huge hurdles," Carle reported on its website.
"I'm stable. I'm healthy. I'm strong. I want that for others, too."