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Employee celebrates new life with 10K
By DeAllous Smith

Like about 58,000 others, Michael Haynes of Security completed the Peachtree Road Race on July 4 after spending months training for the big event. Unlike most of them, however, Haynes had watched the previous year’s race from a hospital bed after receiving a new heart.

Haynes’ inspirational story was featured on 11Alive news (WXIA-TV Channel 11) on July 3, the day before he finished the 10K race in only two hours amid cheers from family members, friends and Airport colleagues.

In February 2011, doctors told Haynes that he had an extremely weak heart and required a transplant or a heart pump to survive. For months he lived at Emory Hospital and waited for doctors to notify him that a replacement was available.

On July 1, 2011, Haynes got the news he had being waiting to hear.

“The doctor said, ‘I’m 99 percent sure that I have a heart for you,’ ” Haynes said. “After the surgery, it felt like I had been reborn. Since this happened, I became a donor.”

After watching the 2011 Peachtree Road Race on television in the hospital, he resolved to participate in the 2012 race. Signing up for the 10K this year was emotional for him.

“I said to myself, ‘I got a new life, so let’s do it,’ ” he said.

Haynes plans to run the race in 2013 and even signed up for the Atlanta Track Club.

“Everyone needs to take their health seriously,” he said. “I would tell people to schedule annual checkups and stress tests and visit the doctor for any health-related issues, no matter how big or small.”

© 2012 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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