Prioritizing Second Chances


“I received a heart transplant in March 2016 after dealing with heart failure for 25 years,” says Daniel Wickstrom, pictured with wife Kimberly Wickstrom. “I had cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart. My heart did pretty well for 20 years, and then I went into end-stage heart failure and I came to UCLA Health.” Kimberly says, “The staff treated our whole family with such love and respect. It helped tremendously, we felt like we were all in this together.” Nodding, Daniel says, “UCLA was so family friendly, they recognized that my wife and kids would walk in the door and I would feel better. They prioritized that. I spent the better part of a year in the hospital waiting on a transplant, and when my doctor came into my room and said, ‘We found you a heart,’ it was like winning the lottery. Every time I experience something with my wife and my kids or my friends, I can’t help but think, ‘I wouldn’t have been here for that.’ It’s amazing to have this second chance.”