Rally for Ryan set to raise money for one man's heart transplant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Rally for Ryan" set to raise money for Ryan Brennan's future heart transplant

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Ryan Brennan of Waterloo doesn't take spending time with his wife and two-year-old daughter for granted.

On June 15th, Ryan and little Delaney went for a walk while Amanda, who wasn't feeling well, stayed behind to take a nap. After getting back from the walk, Brennan went into cardiac arrest. Delaney's screams woke Amanda. She called 9-1-1 and started CPR, which she's required to know for her job in a dental office.

"One thing I've tried to advocate since then is if you don't know CPR, please get trained because it can truly make a difference," said Amanda Brennan.

Ryan Brennan was taken to Allen Hospital in Waterloo.

"They said there was possible brain or organ damage because of loss of blood supply so started on Code Chill Process," said Amanda Brennan.

During the course of 12 hours, Ryan's body temperature was lowered. It stayed that way for 24 hours and then was raised back up again throughout another 12 hours.

At the time, Ryan Brennan was only the 19th person to have this process done at Allen. Because of the severity of his condition, though, Brennan was transferred to Mayo in Rochester.

Fortunately, Brennan did not suffer permanent damage to his brain or organs. However, he does need a heart transplant. Back when he was 18, Brennan suffered a mild heart attack because of an enlarged heart. He was taking medication, but the heart is simply too weak and can't pump fast enough. In order to keep a constant flow of blood throughout his body, Brennan now has wears a LVAD.

"It's about eight pounds carrying around. It's inconvenient, but better than being in the hospital," said Ryan Brennan.

Getting the LVAD meant Brennan could leave the hospital and be with his family while he waits for a new heart, but it also puts him lower on the transplant list.

"So the idea is this will keep blood supply to his brain and body, should he have anymore cardiac events and keep him healthy until it's ready for transplant," said Amanda Brennan.

There's no definite timeline on when Brennan could get a new heart, but he expects to wait at least a few years.The family is already starting to prepare for the cost of the transplant.

A "Rally for Ryan" is set for Saturday, September 21st to raise money for the transplant. It's from 4 to 11 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Waterloo. The event includes music, food, a raffle, and a silent auction.

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