Connor Randall received his first heart before he learned how to walk. Ten years later, his body began to reject the transplanted heart; he received his second heart before he entered the eighth grade. He began to go into rejection again when he was in high school, but experimental treatments and medications returned him to health. Today, he is an active 22-year-old senior at Regis University studying economics and politics. He is honored to share his Rose Parade experience with his family and relates, "We didn't always have that future to look forward to, but now we do. And it's a big deal."
Three-month-old Connor Randall was taken to the doctor for a cold, but his mother found out his condition was far more serious. Connor had cardiomyopathy, a deadly heart disease that could only be remedied by a heart transplant. He spent nine weeks on the waiting list and received his new heart on Mother's Day.
Ten years passed, and Connor's body started to reject the heart. He became extremely ill and was placed back on the waiting list. After waiting for more than a year, Connor received his second heart transplant on July 18, 2005, before he entered the eighth grade. When Connor was a sophomore, a routine procedure found his body was again starting to reject his heart, but some experimental treatments and medications returned him to health.
Now an active 22-year-old, Connor is a senior at Regis University studying economics and politics. He is also a musician and plays drums in a Denver-based punk band. On the weekends Connor even finds time to work as a tour guide at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo.
An animal lover, Connor earned his certification as a dog trainer in 2012. He and his family are a volunteer/foster family with Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue, and they often take care of abandoned dogs and find them loving homes.
Connor has been involved in Donor Alliance's Advocates for Life program for many years, sharing his story to raise awareness about organ donation. At the age of 16 he testified in front of the Colorado State Legislature to lower the age required to donate blood in the state to 16 years of age. He is also a cardiac ambassador for Children's Hospital Colorado and has spoken at many charity events on the hospital's behalf.
He is honored to be a part of the 2014 Rose Parade and is glad to have his family along for the ride. About his family, Connor relates, "We didn't always have that future to look forward to, but now we do. And it's a big deal."