Jim Bunning doesn't need national rankings to tell him where the best doctors and hospitals are. All he needs to do is look into a mirror and he sees the answer.
Bunning, 62, of Evansville, Ind., is Vanderbilt University Medical Center's first successful heart transplant. As he reflects over the past two decades since his transplant, he takes a deep breath.
"Without this transplant I would have died," Bunning said. "I would have missed everything. I got to see my grandchildren. I got to see my son grow up. He was 14 months old when I got my heart.
"This transplant gave us a second opportunity at life. This heart gave us the hope of an extended life."
Now 20 years later he is the longest living heart transplant recipient in the Medical Center's history. continued..