Newport man waiting for second chance at life after facing challenging diagnosis


A Newport man is waiting for a second chance at life.

21-year-old Drew Walczak has a rare heart condition and needs a heart transplant.

Walczak was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy in December 2017. The virus attacked his heart muscles causing it to weaken. 

Specialists at UNC-Chapel Hill said they only see this type of case once a year.

For his heart to function, Drew has an LVAD or left ventricular assist device inside his chest.

“It’s a centrifugal force so it just spins  and what it does, it goes in the left ventricular of your heart.” said Sally Walczak, Drew’s mother. 

Walczak has undergone a total of five surgeries in the past year.

Right now he’s hoping the next one will give him the gift of life. Drew is on the list for a heart transplant.

Walczak said the process has been challenging but has made him stronger as a person.

“Actually pretty proud of myself handling for the way I’ve handled it,” said Drew. 

Family and friends hosted a fundraiser at Dank Burrito Wednesday afternoon that raised more than $2,000. 

In order to have a transplant, it is required the family fundraise. His procedure is $600,000. 

You can click here to donate online.

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