You gotta have heart!

Published 10:51 am Monday, August 16, 2010

Robert Daughtrey needs your help.

Daughtrey, a resident of the St. John community in Hertford County, is among the 107,000-plus individuals waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. That dire need will be the focus of a fundraiser on Aug. 28 during a unique golf tournament planned at Valley Pine Country Club in Lasker.

Using a two-man, par 3 Superball format, the tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. The tourney covers 27 holes, with teams placed in different flights after the first nine holes.

The entry fee is $80 per team. Register now by calling 252-539-4124.

Lunch and beverages will be provided.

There will be closet to the pin prizes on every hole. Additionally, special prizes await any golfer lucky enough to knock in a hole-in-one.

Paid prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place teams in each flight.

Those participating in the event will afford Daughtrey a second chance at life.

For Daughtrey, 53, everyday that he wakes up is a miracle. After experiencing extreme fatigue starting in 2001, a battery of tests revealed he suffers from cardiomyopathy, which was likely caused by a virus attacking his heart.

Three years after receiving this bad news, Daughtrey was severely injured in a head-on auto crash that nearly claimed his life. He was hospitalized for over three months at Pitt Memorial in Greenville. To complicate matters, the medicine used there to keep him alive may have weakened his heart even more and he now suffers from congestive heart failure.

He needs a heart transplant to survive…so he can watch his grandchildren, Colin (6) and Gabby (3) grow up. He would also like to return to the things he loves in life – gardening and woodworking.

Daughtrey’s hope for a new life comes at a steep price. The price tag for a heart transplant is approximately $750,000 and that doesn’t include the follow-up care plus the daily injections of anti-rejection medications that can run as high as $5,000 per month.

The National Foundation of Transplants (NFT) is attempting to help the Daughtrey family with these expenses, as they have been doing with other transplant patients over the past 27 years.

Roanoke-Chowan area citizens can help. If you don’t play golf, consider making a tax-deductable donation to the NFT North Carolina Heart Fund. When using a personal check, be sure to write “In honor of Robert Daughtrey” in the memo line in order for the money to be directed to his cause.

Donations can also be made securely online at Click on “Patients We Help” and find Daughtrey’s name. You may also use this website if an individual wants to become an organ donor. Click on the “Transplant Challenge” logo and follow the directions.

For local information on how to help Robert Daughtrey have a second chance at life, call 332-2209, 287-7922 or 209-4388.