DANVILLE — A Vermilion County paramedic who’s spent his entire career helping other people now needs a new heart to save his own life. Brandon Curry-Varner has an incurable heart disease and his condition has become even more severe in the last two years. Now doctors are telling him the only thing left to do is get a new heart.
As a paramedic, Varner has made a career saving other people’s lives. He says, “There is no greater joy that I could ever say, other than being with my family, that I get from being able to help others.”
He’s poured his heart into the people he saves. But now he’s the one in need of help. Heart disease runs in his family. Even though he knew his family’s history, he wasn’t prepared for his diagnosis.
Varner says, “We were on our honeymoon down in Florida when I became very ill. I started having really bad chest pain.”
His wife Joselyn recalls what it was like when they got the diagnosis. She says, “I felt like we were putting our one-day-old vows to the test right off the bat. Here we were, first day of our marriage, first day of our honeymoon. It was like everything we wanted to do was being taken away from us.”
Varner says, “I just felt like I need to get to the hospital right now, something’s not right.”
Varner’s medical training kicked in and his instincts were right. Doctors diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It’s a heart disease that can only be treated with medication.
Varner says, “Since the disease progressed, I’ve basically maxed out on all medications that I’ve been given.”
And now the only option he has left is to get a heart transplant. But Varner is keeping his head high, and his hopes even higher. He says, “I’ve been able to still work and I’m going to work until I physically can’t. I feel like despite the issues that I have going on I still have plenty to give to the people that I serve.”
In Illinois there are currently 246 people on the heart transplant list. His name was added to that list last Thursday. A friend of the family created a go fund me to help with medical expenses. If you would like to contribute, click here.