Professional Golfer Receives Life-saving Heart Transplant
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.”
Feb. 2018 Employee Stories
Fighting the Unknown. Link opens story page.
More than 30 years ago, Miami became the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic. When the first patients came to Jackson Memorial Hospital in the 1980s with this unnamed disease, I was a young doctor, fresh out of residency, at the beginning of my career.Explore in story page.
Feb. 2013 Miracle Stories
After Five-Organ Transplant, Woman Gives Birth. Link opens story page.
In 2013, Fatema Al Ansari delivered a healthy baby girl at Jackson via C-section - becoming the first five-organ transplant patient in the world to conceive and deliver.Explore in story page.
Nov. 2009 Miracle Stories
Born at One Pound, One Ounce, Newborn Goes Home. Link opens story page.
On November 6, 2009, Gabriella Mercedes Gil finally went home - eight months after being born at Holtz Children’s Hospital, weighing just one pound, one ounce.Explore in story page.