Local firefighter, Kasey Smith update on heart transplant process

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (WIBW) -- One firefighter has been waiting for a special call.

Kasey Smith from Salute the Badge, who was facing a fair share of medical emergencies waiting on a heart transplant tells 13 News how he is doing almost two years after major heart surgery.

"From the system I've heard absolutely nothing," Kasey Smith said. "It is kind of frustrating being kind of put on pause for everything else."

Kasey Smith continues the fight waiting until it's his turn to receive a heart.

"I've got my heart pump, That's doing well, keeping me stable, but I still need the transplant, so I'm kinda waiting on that call and then start the process over again," Smith explained.

For two years, Kacey Smith has been waiting for a heart and relying on his mechanical pump, but this time he says he's stronger, "I was pretty sickly when I got out the hospital, so I've put some weight back on, I don't look all sick and hallowed eyed as I did before."

"The pump keeps me from being in the hospital. I get to spend a lot more time with my family, keeps me pretty stable, I do most of your day to day life kind of things without issue. That's the positive," Smith said.

It's been a long road with ups and downs. A year ago, Kacey found a donor, but the heart wasn't compatible.

"His heart didn't quite match mine. Kind of got our hopes up a little bit for that but I'm glad that it was able to go to someone. I always like to look for the silver linings," Smith explained.

Until he finds a match, he still spends time with the Alexandria Township Fire Department and his family.

"I do get to help them out with all their training, other than that, I still get too excited when the alarm goes off and my heart gets out of rhythm and my little buzzer goes off and says hey, you need to take a step back and think about what your doing," Smith said.

"I spend a lot of time with my son which is great, I've got a 2 year old at home and that's my biggest silver lining is if none of this would of happened, I would be working everyday and I wouldn't get to spend nearly as much time as I do, that's a huge thing for me and its really been a motivator to stay positive."

When the call for a new heart finally does come, Smith says, "I would almost think it would be surreal at this point, just kind of lost in the moment."

The battle isn't easy, but Kasey says everyday holds value, "Everyday is a blessing because, tomorrow is never a guarantee."

If you would like to make a financial contribution to Kasey, click here.