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Transplant Recipient Has A Heart For Love

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DeSOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, matters of the heart are always near the top of everyone’s mind.

But this Valentine’s Day, the heart is especially on the minds of the family Oak Cliff woman who gave her heart away, and of the DeSoto man who received it, along with another chance at life and love.

Cleaning his DeSoto home is something Tom Rogers feels a little more compelled to do these days.

But, at 73,  he doesn’t mind.  “I had heart problems,” Rogers said.

A year and a half ago, congestive heart failure had made it nearly impossible for him to do anything.  “They said my heart was real weak.”

Rogers’ church, Crossroads Covenant in DeSoto, found out about his condition and prayed for him for a year.

One church member, Barbara Patterson, was praying for him too, when tragedy struck in her own family.  “It was sudden,” Patterson said. “It was sudden.”

Barbara’s younger sister, Loyce Bryan, died from a brain hemorrhage. She was 43.  Loyce had been engaged to be married after being single more than 20 years.  “Her heart has been inclined towards marriage for a long time. Yep. And she wanted to be married,” Patterson said.

It was not to be. But, Loyce’s heart would live on – inside Tom Rogers.

“Whenever we see him we think of her. And even sometimes, I’ll walk up to him and I would just put my hand on his chest,” Patterson said, beginning to cry.

Tom Rogers didn’t think he’d ever marry again. Then, there was that change of heart. And he tied the knot on 1/1/2011

Barbara Patterson remembers how he called her and told her the news.  “I started laughing. I said that heart was determined to get married.”

Rogers’ 56-year-old bride can attest to his new found love – for cleaning.  “It’s like he’ll get a real cleaning spurt. But when he gets it, you have to stop him,” she said.

It’s the other gift Patterson also believes Rogers received from her sister.

Loyce Bryan’s organ donations help to save or better the lives of more than 30 people.

For more information on organ donations or how to become a donor, contact the Southwest Transplant Alliance at organ.org.

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