Jackie Crosby : His heart was failing. That was 24 years ago.

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[Star Tribune, February 26, 2010] "I'm celebrating a birthday today for my friend Genard Lane. Actually, we're toasting his heart, which has reached the ripe old age of 45. And what a heart it is."

The story began in 1986, when Genard was 47 and his own diseased heart was failing. Things looked so bleak that surgeons at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis had him in the queue for a Jarvik-7 artificial heart. But in the early afternoon of Feb. 26, their plans changed. A 21-year-old man from Clinton, Neb., had been killed in a car crash, and Genard became Abbott's fourth heart transplant recipient.

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