BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield native Nick Burrus was born with a congenital heart defect.
For his entire life, he struggled to cross rooms or stand up.
“It’s extraordinarily easy to get out of breath,” Nick Burrus said. “It’s very easy to feel fatigued. No matter how much rest you get, the fatigue is there.”
Burrus, now 32, started attending the Heart and Stroke Walk in 2009, but because of his condition, he couldn’t walk.
“I tried, but I’ve never been able to make it very far, so I usually just sat out of the walk and hung back,” Burrus said.
Until last year, when he received a heart transplant at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. It’s been a ‘night-and-day’ difference, Burrus says, and Saturday, he’ll be taking the new heart out for a spin, fully participating in the Heart and Stroke Walk for the first time.
“With the transplant, I’m fully intending on going as far as I can, and making sure this new heart is doing as fantastic as it can be,” Burrus said. “It’s my responsibility to keep this heart healthy.”
Burrus plans on walking more than a mile in the morning, and finishing off the day with a night walk at Wind Wolves Preserve.
Anyone can participate in the Heart and Stroke walk from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. To register, donate, or for more information, visit bakersfieldheartwalk.com.