Robert Montgomery performed a kidney transplant recently.
What makes the surgeon’s story unique is that, two years ago, he received a heart transplant himself.
Dr. Montgomery has familial cardiomyopathy, a genetic form of heart disease affecting the electrical pathways of the heart muscle. The ailment killed his father at the age of fifty-two and his brother at the age of thirty-five. He had a defibrillator implanted when he was twenty-nine, which saved his life many times. He went on to become a surgeon who pioneered numerous medical advancements.
However, after a series of cardiac arrests and life-threatening arrhythmias, Dr. Montgomery received a new heart in 2018. Two weeks later, he returned to work part-time. Three months later, he resumed seeing patients.
He now wants to be a role model for transplant patients, given that only about 20 percent of kidney-transplant patients return to work; even fewer may do so after heart transplants.
“Transplant patients don’t want to be marginalized,” he said. “They want to really be able to turn that page and really get back to their lives.”
My father’s health and our Father’s grace
My father had his first heart attack when I was two years old and died of a subsequent attack when I was a senior in college. Our family knows firsthand the challenges heart patients face. Dr. Montgomery’s recovery from his transplant is inspiring news.
His story points to the importance of courage, the decision not to accept the status quo or settle for conventional wisdom. If we let others decide what we can do, we will seldom do all we can.
If we accept our secularized culture’s worldview, however, trusting conventional wisdom or our own is the best we can do. Conversely, since our Father’s “ways are higher than your ways” and his “thoughts than your thoughts,” we can know that his will for us is always better than we can imagine (Isaiah 55:8).
In fact, he is the greatest heart surgeon in the universe: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
Are you living in the wisdom and power of his Spirit today?