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He received two new hearts: one for earth, one for heaven

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Most heart transplant recipients
are grateful to receive a new heart. Ron Phillips is doubly
grateful because he was the recipient of not one, but two
new hearts.
The first will give him a longer life on earth. The
second will give him eternal life in heaven.
About two weeks before Phillips received a new physical
heart, he got a new spiritual heart when he accepted Jesus
as his Savior.
“Ron’s family had been praying for his salvation for
years,” said Robert Haling, pastor of Southwood Baptist
Church, Oklahoma City, where Phillips’ wife and two
daughters are members.
Phillips, 54, had quadruple bypass surgery six years
ago. At that time doctors talked to him about the
possibility of a heart transplant. And because of his
recurring heart problems he had already gone through the
screening process for a new heart before it became his only
A retired heating and air conditioning man, Phillips
said in the spring he began having problems with his energy
level and was not breathing well. He had gone to an
electronics store to have an alarm put on his van on Sept.
2. While in the waiting area, his heart stopped beating and
he passed out. A parts delivery girl who was driving out of
the parking lot saw Phillips on the floor and returned to
give him CPR.
He ended up in the intensive care unit at Oklahoma
City’s Integris Medical Center where he waited seven weeks
for a heart donor. It was in late October that a match was
made from a victim of a robbery and beating in the Denver
area. However, it was an at-risk heart because no one knew
where the victim had been for four hours before he was
“He could have contracted AIDS or another disease which
would have been transported to my body through the blood,”
Phillips said.
Although doctors could not guarantee a disease-free
transplant, because of Phillips’ weakening condition, he
agreed to the transplant from the Denver donor.
Phillips admitted he might have never come to the point
of accepting Jesus had it not been for his physical
problems, but he said there is no question which new heart
he would have picked had there been only one choice.
Haling said he talked to Phillips about his
relationship with the Lord when Phillips began having
recurring heart problems a few months ago.
“I told him I couldn’t think about the Lord taking him
into eternity and not talking to him about his relationship
with Jesus,” Haling recounted.
“I felt the whole time I was in the hospital the Lord
had something in store for me,” Phillips said. “I had been
in and out of church all my life but had never made a
decision for Christ.”
Phillips said although Haling visited him several times
while he was hospitalized, he was alone when he accepted
“I don’t feel any different with someone else’s heart
beating inside me,” Phillips confessed. But he said he does
feel different with Jesus in his heart.
“Ron’s is a wonderful testimony of the grace of God
sparing his life and making him aware he needed to be
saved,” Haling said.
“When the Lord saved him, you could see the change in
his attitude even before he received his physical heart.”
Phillips joined Southwood Nov. 30 and was baptized Dec.

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  • Dana Williamson