Heart Transplant Survivor Celebrates Twenty-Five Years Since Operation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Heart Transplant Survivor Celebrates Twenty-Five Years Since Operation

Jimmy Ryan at Saturday's celebration of 25 years with a new heart. Jimmy Ryan at Saturday's celebration of 25 years with a new heart.

MCFARLAND (WKOW) -- A heart transplant survivor in McFarland is celebrating 25 years of beating the odds.

His family and friends gathered on Saturday for a celebrating marking the anniversary of the operation.

When Jimmy Ryan recieved his heart transplant back in 1983, the procedure was considered experimental.

"Back then life expetancy was possibly five years," explained Ryan.

Since that time, Ryan's beaten the odds.

"I suppose when he hit the ten year mark, i would have been 19 or something like that, then we started thinking, wow, this is really incredible. And that was 15 years ago," remarked his son, Matt.

Surrounded by family and friends on saturday, jimmy ryan did not seemed surprised at all by his longevity.

"The nurses always told me, if you do what your supposed to do when you're supposed to do, there's no reason you won't survive," Ryan said.  On Saturday, he was happy to say, that advice has proven true.

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