Student Loses Place in Line for Heart Transplant Due to Too Many Emails

The biggest complaint that NDSU students have had lately is the influx of emails being delivered every day. Often students get up in the morning to see that their inbox is already crowded with unread updates about sports, clubs and campus updates. This inbox overload is merely annoying for most, but for Josiah Holt, it was life-threatening.

“There were just so many emails…over time I kind of just stopped checking them,” said Holt, a junior majoring in engineering. “At first I would get excited every time my phone lit up, but it was always about basketball or something.”

Holt has struggled with a broken heart—developed after his girlfriend broke up with him at the end of eighth grade—for years, and in January of 2023, it was determined that he would need a heart transplant. He has been waiting on the donor list for over a year. When signing up for a donated heart, he put his student email on the contact form, which would prove to be a fatal mistake.

“One day I decided to clean out my inbox, and that’s when I saw an email from the hospital, sent four days before that,” said Holt. “Turns out I was up to receive a transplant and I missed my opportunity. When I say that my heart stopped when I saw it…well, it actually might have.”

Since donated organs will only function if placed in the recipient within a couple of hours, the hospital quickly contacted the next person on the transplant list when Holt failed to respond. Unfortunately, this placed Holt at the end of the waitlist.

“It could take months, maybe even a year, before someone else comes in with a heart of the right size and blood group again,” said Holt. “My condition is very serious…I might be dead before then.” He and his family have no choice but to wait and see what happens.

Holt regrets putting down his student email and the wrong phone number on the contact form, but he does think it should have been obvious to the hospital that 867-5309 was not his real phone number. “I really think this is the fault of NDSU for sending me too many updates on things I never participate in.”

Students with B-negative blood types and a medium-sized heart are encouraged to let Holt know if they would be willing to donate their hearts to him sometime in the next couple of months. He can be reached at his school email or his personal phone number, 867-5309.

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