skip to content

Professional Golfer Receives Life-saving Heart Transplant

Jackson Memorial Hospital heart transplant patient and professional golfer Erik Compton with golf club and equipment

Erik Compton is a survivor. When he was nine, Erik was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart muscle is inflamed and unable to pump as hard as it should. In 1992, at 12 years old, he received a heart transplant at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Although recovery was long and difficult, it never stopped Erik from achieving his dream of becoming a professional golfer.

Erik was the number one-ranked junior, a two-time All-American at the University of Georgia, and a member of the 2001 Walker Cup team before turning professional in 2001. He played mostly on the Nationwide Tour, but qualified for a few PGA events, too.

However, in 2008, as he was preparing to qualify for a permanent PGA Tour card, his transplanted heart started to fail. He received a second heart in May of that year, also at Jackson. Just six months after the second transplant, Erik offered hope to thousands awaiting lifesaving transplantations by competing for a spot on the PGA Tour. He made it through the first of three qualifying rounds, but missed the cut by one stroke in the second.

Erik was naturally disappointed, but he felt it might be a blessing in disguise. At the time, he had a new wife and a baby on the way, so he thought perhaps he was meant to go back to teaching golf. He said, “I’m a big believer in fate and what it brings. I would like to have another go at it, though.”

Share

Trending Stories

Opens story page.

Oct. 2015 Jackson History

Middle School Assistant Principal Receives New Heart

. Link opens story page.

After years of battling cardiomyopathy, Erika Carter-Rolle finally received a lifesaving heart transplant.

Explore in story page.
Opens story page.

Mar. 2018 Miracle Stories

Grandpa Juan

. Link opens story page.

To honor his 10-year- old granddaughter who died after two multi-organ transplants, Juan Manfredi, 74, turned his heartbreaking loss into a lifetime of volunteering at Holtz Children’s Hospital.

Explore in story page.
Opens story page.

Feb. 2018 Employee Stories

Jackson, My Second Home

. Link opens story page.

I joined the Jackson family in April 2000 as a clerk stenographer in Corrections Health Services. At the time, my aunt, who was part of the organization in 1988 and came back in 1998, suggested I apply because she thought I would be great for the position.

Explore in story page.

Copyright 2019 Jackson Health System

Jackson health System