- Harold Sokyrka
- 34:359 year(s):day(s)
- Canada (Saskatoon)
The longest surviving heart transplant patient is Harold Sokyrka (Canada, b. 16 January 1952), who has lived for 34 years and 359 days after receiving his transplant on 3 June 1986, in London, Ontario, Canada as verified on 28 May 2021.
Harold was suffering from cardiomyopathy which is a disease of the heart muscle that affects the heart's ability to pump blood around the body. He was given the rare opportunity to receive a heart transplant to give him a second chance at life.
The heart was from the victim of a devastating road traffic collision. He was a young 16 year old boy named Bruno Duguay. His sister, Sylvie Duguay spent the duration of 17 years searching for the owner of her brother's heart as she had so many questions that she felt needed to be answered; "My brother's heart is living inside somebody else's body. But where? Who has it?".
The newspaper story of Sylvie's search became widespread in Canada and drew the attention of Harold's niece who then notified him. Though they do not speak each other's languages, Harold and Sylvie struck up a friendship via an interpreter on the phone and emails. Upon seeing a photo of Bruno for the first time, this gave Harold a shiver and he says the simple yet essential question of his existence 'who gave him his chance to live?' is now solved.