Ex-Ute gets gift of life with new heart from former BYU football player

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  • Nana Gohn Grand Junction, CO
    Sept. 19, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    My son died in a car accident just before his 19th birthday. His heart is in Tokyo. I am happy when I hear stories like this one. I hope some day I will meet the recipient of my son's heart.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Sept. 19, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Wonderful story, thank you for sharing. Okay Ken Gardner, now I like to see you in BYU shirt.

  • Oldsguy49 Stockton, UT
    June 18, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    This is a very good article, except the part about you being quiet and all. After talking with you in the parking lot at Gardner Village last Tuesday, the new heart must have given you a whole different persona. It seems to me that you are very assertive, maybe it was my hat, my age, or perhaps you thought we shared a bond from the U. For whatever reason, I enjoyed the conversation. You do seem like a very kind hearted individual that will be a good spokesperson for a good cause. I am already an organ donor and a many gallon blood donor. I encourage others to do the same.

  • Georgie Baby Denver, CO
    June 16, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    Good story, bad headline. If Gardner is an "Ex-Ute", then the BYU football player is an "Ex-Cougar." Here is a better headline, "Utah basketball legend receives heart from former BYU football player."

  • AllSeeingEye Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2014 8:16 p.m.

    I love this story. Thanks to everyone involved, especially the donor and recipient.

    I love the rivalry and those who keep it in perspective.

    Thank you,!

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    June 16, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    Great story, just goes to prove that even the best Utah has to offer still has the heart of a Cougar.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 16, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    A good reminder that in the end, it doesn't matter what color we bleed (well, it IS red), just that we do indeed bleed and sometimes need each other.

    I'll never forget an incident from a Utah-BYU football game in Rice Stadium back in the 70's. I don't remember the exact year or the score, but I vividly remember a BYU ball carrier getting knocked out-of-bounds on the Ute sideline. He immediately suffered a seizure and convulsions. The Ute trainers were there in an instant, pulling his tongue out of his throat so he wouldn't choke. Of course, play stopped during this little drama and the crowd was silent. When the player recovered, the roar from the crowd left such an impression it still gives me chills, four decades later.

    Alex Haley was right, we are all more alike than we are different. It's good to remember that occasionally.

  • Michael Romney Salt Lake, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    vegas ute, We've always been brothers. One little brother, one big brother.

    Goooo Utes!

  • sid 6.7 Holladay, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    What a beautiful story. It took about everything I had to not break down into tears when the young woman stated that she could feel her husbands heart beating in the recipients chest. For me it was very humbling.

    Maybe us Ute's and you Cougar's aren't so different after all. Go figure!

    God is smiling.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    @ Stringer Bell; What? To your line: Correct, but please don't complain to the rest of us after you do it.
    Don't jump on a bandwagon late and make an irrelevant comment.
    This is America. Respect it or feel free to go elsewhere.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 16, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    What a great and beautiful story. There are much more important things in life than rivalry and sports. This story transcends both.

    With this story, we hold hands as brothers, not rivals.

  • alphablue Provo, UT
    June 16, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    Tremendous story....tremendous blessing for this man in his hour of need. I can appreciate his appreciation as I am waiting for a kidney transplant myself. I have been in dialysis for over two and one-half years waiting for my opportunity to move forward with my life.

    Those of us who are in this situation can appreciate what an amazing gift this man has received at this time to allow him to continue on with life and his family.

    We all can take pause and soften our hearts and approach our blessings in light of the struggle our brother's and sister's who suffer from medically debilitaating illnesses in life.

    Let's make sure we all have the heart to reach out to those in need.

    June 16, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    A beautiful story. Also, very classy comments. Maybe there really is room for both of our Ute and Cougar fan bases to coexist in our state.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    June 16, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Re: I'm a believer "This is America; people can do what they please."

    Correct, but please don't complain to the rest of us after you do it.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    June 16, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    @ Sagacious. This is America; people can do what they please. The people who are sick are the ones that are obsessive compulsive.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 16, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    This is a heartwarming story.

  • Sagacious Logan, UT
    June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    @ ImABeliever:

    A quick fix to your sickness problem is to just quit reading the comment sections after Ute and BYU college sports stories.

    I and many others have cut down dramatically in our getting involved with those comment sections which do almost nothing but spew rival animosity. This story created a refreshing difference.

  • Norcalman Danville, CA
    June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    Nice article, wonderful story. It is so nice to read an article about BYU and Utah and not have all the negative comments afterward. Let's have this article be the beginning of a new trend where we don't spew hate and vitriol in the guise of loyalty to our school.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    June 16, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Personally, I am really sick of hearing about Utah vs. BYU. It is nauseating.
    People are obsessive compulsive over a stupid collegiate so called sport. It is absolutely ridiculous. Can't they just have said one person helped another? Geez.

  • DebAdams Safford, AZ
    June 16, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this touching story.
    This is a beautiful Heaven's Pure Love of Christ story.
    Thank you so very much!
    Debbie Adams (Mother of five daughters and Grandmother of three precious grand babies)
    (Safford,AZ Stake)

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    June 16, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    @SLCWatch-- you are exactly right. It is the fans that seem to form boundaries of hatred and malice towards each other. The programs and most of the players seem to be able to keep it in perspective. Most of them.

    This is a great story. I'm sure it all happened for a reason. God bless all parties involved.

  • WYOREADER Gillette, WY
    June 16, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    Wow - Just - Wow!

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 16, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    What an amazing story. I don't imagine there was a dry eye at that first meeting. I was surprised at how this story touched my heart as I read it. THIS is what rivalries are about...yes, kidding and ribbing each other, but recognizing the good and human side of us all and remembering that when on the field or court of competition. Great story Mike!

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    June 16, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    "Rivals" does not mean enemies.
    It's competition not combat.
    It's giving your best, even your heart.
    It's humbly accepting a hand or a heart when you need it.
    I am edified by this story.
    Coincidence is just a long word for God's matchless love.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    June 16, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Life transcends sports.

  • Idahotransplant West Jordan, UT
    June 16, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Awesome story. Puts life in perspective. Also, it was greeat seeing Coach Lavell Edwards and Coach Ron Mcbride with each other like old times.

    One question: "Why can't Kyle and Bronco get along?"

  • djbaggs ,
    June 16, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    Thank you for the article. I was shocked when I read that Ken Gardner was the recipient of the heart. I played Little League Baseball with Ken in the 1960's and followed his career. Such tender mercies. Jay Baggs, Dallas Texas

    June 16, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    Too frequently, we let our commitments as sports fans push things that really matter out of the way. We need to have more of this type of story, and more often.
    I have regard for both universities' sports programs, but from a fan base, at least, they are mere and temporary entertainment. On the other hand, both universities excel in many academic and scholarly research levels that have a level of permanence and impact effecting people’s lives. We ought to encourage and celebrate those, respect the athletes from both institutions for their success, and honor what alumni from both achieve in their personal and professional lives.
    That being said, it's wonderful that such a miracle could happen to the parties involved in this story, aside from the coincidental university connections.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 16, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    As a U Alum that cheers for the Y, I can be happy on both sides of this story.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    June 16, 2014 2:25 a.m.

    WHAT!?!? They let his heart go to a UTE?!?!

    I'm kidding of course... Wonderful story! In our Heavenly Father's eyes, we are all wearing the same jersey!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 15, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    Cool story...

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    June 15, 2014 11:09 p.m.

    Amazing story. Thanks for writing it Mike.