The heart transplant received last week by Ramon Cardenas of Brownwood couldn’t have come at a better time, even though he and his wife were awakened by a 3 a.m. telephone call to tell them the news. They quickly made their way to Medical City Hospital in Dallas where Ramon underwent an eight-hour operation. He is now recuperating, and his family is looking forward to a much healthier life thanks to the charity of a donor and that donor’s family who thought of others in the midst of their own loss.

The timing was good for the Brown County Chapter of the American Heart Association whose members have been selling “Go Red for Heart” T-shirts again this year. The shirts will be worn Friday to bring attention to women’s cardiovascular health issues.

February is traditionally heart month, and the importance of cardiovascular health is emphasized throughout the nation during the month. The local chapter will extend the observance a few days and conduct its annual gala on March 3. The event at the Brownwood Country Club will feature the popular band Borderline.

The American Heart Association has funded seven researchers who have won the Nobel Prize, and has a research commitment of almost $30 million in Texas, representing support to 150 scientists. The association has invested more than $2.6 billion on research since 1949. AHA research has also contributed to the development of CPR, links between dietary fat and cholesterol, cholesterol inhibitors and the first external pacemaker implant. The association also pressed for reforms that have led to improved nutritional guidelines for school menus.

Sometimes, even when organizations that have local volunteers ask for donations, it’s not always easy to identify how local people directly benefit beyond the educational aspects of their campaigns. Happily, the Cardenas family is one example of how that happens.

Brownwood Bulletin