EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — For many of us, just thinking about taking part in a 5K walk is exhausting. But for one Tri-State man, it was his goal to cross that finish line just months after having a heart transplant.
“It’s been hard but it’s been a good process,” said Brian Carrico. “I’ve had a lot of really good people support me and I feel very very blessed.”
Brian Carrico has battled heart issues for much of his life, but his prayers were answered in January when he got the call that he would be a heart recipient.
“I’ve been in cardiac rehab since and I just needed to prove to myself that I could still make it and do it,” Brian tells us.
So to do that, he decided he would put that new heart to work, training with his rehab therapist to walk in today’s Laufenfest 5K in Haubstadt.
“We did a lot of hill training, we did interval training, we did speed work,” rehab therapist Liesl Fraley explains. “Some days went well, others not so well”
But Brian was determined this was going to be a good day, even though he knew the over 3-mile walk wouldn’t be easy.
“I was nervous just because of the few little hills on the other side of the course,” Brian said.
But the past 12 years of Brian’s life have been an uphill battle — battles he’s always been determined to overcome.
“I was pretty motivated,” Brian said. “I knew I had to finish it.”
And Brian did finish. His buddy Jack Field, who had a lung transplant 7 years ago, was right there walking with him, supporting him along the way.
“He made it! He outdid me! I was way behind him,” Jack exclaims.
Brian’s support team, also there to cheer him on, watched him conquer yet another battle.
“He kept that hope, he kept going even when things were as low as they seemed like they could get and so I think he encourages staff and other patients and to see him set a goal and reach it has been amazing,” said Jane Kremer.
Brian tells us he ran this race for himself to prove he has what it takes to do it — but also for all those out there just like him who are waiting on a transplant. Brian says he hopes people will consider becoming an organ donor to help them conquer their goals as well.