(KMOV) -- We talked with Jonathan Sadowski tonight. He's 20 years old and living with a new heart. Earlier this month he received a heart and kidney transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It the first combined heart-kidney transplant at Barnes-Jewish.
Here's his story in a nutshell---when he was about a month old he received a heart transplant. It didn't slow him down. He played a little baseball and played hockey for ten years including playing for his high school team, the Fort Zumwalt West Jaguars. But his heart started failing. His kidneys began to fail as well because of all the medications he's had to take over the years.
The hospital says that, traditionally, patients who had a failing heart were disqualified as candidates for a transplant if they had renal failure as well. But data now shows that for certain patients--like Sadowski who is young and with no other medical problems--transplanting a donor kidney at the same time as a heart results in a better chance for long-term survival for the patient.
Sadowski will still have to take medications. Thirteen different medications a day. At least for now. As time goes on the medications will decrease. While the heart transplant as a child didn't slow him down, the good news is that the transplant as an adult won't slow him down either.