Vet Voices

No one approaches Thanksgiving with more gratitude that long-time heart recipient Joe Rosen

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Joe Rosen just celebrated the 35th anniversary of his heart transplant.

He got his new heart at age 29, and he went back to work for another 32 years, working with deaf children and teaching sign language at a college at night.

Rosen believes he is the second longest living heart recipient anywhere.

He said it was a new procedure back then.

Now at age 64, he still loves the outdoors, cutting wood for his wood-burner and riding his four-wheeler.

Rosen said he never did drink or smoke, and he is grateful every Thanksgiving for the years he’s been given.

Very thankful. I mean like ‘yay! I made it another year!’ And Thanksgiving means truly being thankful. For someone with a transplant or someone who has beaten cancer, they definitely have things to be thankful for.

Joe Rosen, Heart Transplant Recipient

He retired two years ago, and wrote a children’s book, “Smally and the Big Shiny Yellow Bulldozer,” about the importance of saving the forests.

Every five years he has a celebration, and hundreds of people turn out, but he didn’t do it this year due to COVID 19 and due to several deaths in his family.

He added wearing masks and social distancing is just another way of taking good care of yourself and those around you. And he’s all for it.

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