PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Taking each day one heartbeat at a time. One former Pikeville firefighter says that is something he must face.
He says his days are numbered without a heart transplant.
However, it is his community's support that is keeping his family's hearts full.
Life for 45-year-old, Tracy Daniels, changed drastically in 2010 when he started having black outs.
"I was running 10 miles a day and lifting weights on days I wasn't running, teaching martial arts classes...I just couldn't believe it would be my heart," says Daniels.
However, doctors discovered a genetic heart condition and diagnosed the firefighter with
Left Ventricular Non-Compaction.
"He said you have five good years left," Daniels remembers.
Since then Daniels received a pacemaker and defibrillator, he retired, and also learned his heart is failing at a rapid pace...currently sitting at 60% failure.
After spending much of his life helping others, Daniels says it is the help he is now receiving from his community, brothers and sisters at the fire dept, as well as his church...that is helping him and his family keep fighting.
Firefighter Ketih Gillispie says, "We are by blood but we are brothers. Anytime somebody needs help whether it is here or wherever we do what we can to help them as firefighters."
Now, waiting for a heart transplant while not able to work or receive benefits, folks are coming together to help cover medical costs.
"I've just had to do away with my pride and accept the help."
While standing firm in his faith, and praying for a miracle.
"Dying I am not afraid of, because I know when I die everything is going to be so much better...but that is just for me. It is not going to be better for the people that I leave behind," says Daniels.
Daniels goes to the Cleveland Clinic next month for some transplant pretests.
If all goes well, he will then be put on a transplant list.
For more information on how you can help Daniels you can visit the website listed above.