Heart-to-Heart: Sudhir Choudhrie’s Inspirational Journey from the Operating Room to the Boardroom

Being one of the world’s longest-living heart transplant patients isn’t a record anyone aspires to — but it’s one for which entrepreneur and philanthropist Sudhir Choudhrie is eternally grateful. In the business world, where extraordinary tales of resilience and success abound, Sudhir Choudhrie’s journey is a true testament to the power of the human spirit. From the operating room, where he underwent a grueling, lifesaving heart transplant, to the boardroom, where he built an empire, Choudhrie’s life story resonates as an awe-inspiring symphony of determination, vision, and triumph.

In 1999, at 50, Choudhrie received the gift of life from an organ donor. This transformative event marked the beginning of a new chapter that would inspire countless others.

A 20-year-old person I will never know not only gave me a new heart: they gave me a new life,” Choudhrie wrote in a HuffPost blog post. “In many ways, my quality of life is better now than it was in my late forties when I was feeling lethargic and constantly prone to infections as my health and my old heart gradually started to break down.”

Sudhir Choudhrie: Against All Odds

Choudhrie’s background as a cardiac patient endowed him with a profound understanding of the value of time and the urgency of purpose. Drawing upon his astute instincts and boundless determination, Sudhir Choudhrie became a trailblazer in entrepreneurship.

In 1999, Choudhrie had to have an emergency transplant. He was in New York City at the Columbia University Medical Center. The operation was performed by TV personality and physician Mehmet Oz, who discussed it on The Dr. Oz Show. At the time, Choudhrie was expected to live only a few more months without this procedure.

Sudhir Choudhrie chronicled his journey in a memoir titled From My Heart: A Tale of Life, Love,

and Destiny, which received rave reviews on Amazon. Verified purchaser Carrie wrote, “What an inspiring story — not having much knowledge when it comes to organ donation, after watching the segment on Dr. Oz and reading this book, the only question I have now is — how can you not be part of something so powerful. A great read — and a fabulous message.”

Reader K wise agreed, posting, “Such a touching and powerful story that you must read. The book touched my heart and opened my eyes to organ donation, transplant surgery, and the patents. Sudhir — Thank you for sharing your story, as this book has changed my perspective on life.”

Paying it Forward

Grateful for his second lease on life, Sudhir Choudhrie and his family, via the Choudhrie Family Foundation, established the Sudhir Choudhrie Professorship of Cardiology at Columbia University.

Choudhrie said, “Charity in both the public and the personal sphere underpins what makes us decent, moral beings.” The Choudhrie Family Foundation was founded in 2010 to fund health, medical, and educational projects in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries. This foundation supports research into cardiovascular medicine and encourages people to sign up to be organ donors.

The Choudhrie Family Foundation’s mission states: “We fund research projects that advance medical understanding, especially projects searching for the causes of genetic cardiovascular disease and a cure for it. We have supported the research of multiple world-leading experts on the causes and cures for cardiovascular disease.”

And that’s a philosophy Sudhir Choudhrie wholeheartedly — pun intended — embraces.

Once, I was in a room with six other transplant patients, and they were saying that they didn’t want to do anything to protect their health as they didn’t expect to live for very long. One man refused to give up junk food, saying, ‘Why should I? I’m going to die anyway,’” Choudhrie wrote in the HuffPost.

We’re all going to die one day. But if you are fortunate enough to receive top-quality care, as I did, you can make it through. Mine is a message of hope. Surrounded by a loving family, cherished by all of them, one thing is quite clear. If your heart has a reason to keep beating, it will.

My hope is that stories like mine can inspire more potential donors. The hearts belonging to the family of my donor must have been shattered by their loss, and yet they rose above their grief to say yes to the procedure that gave me life. My heart, my new heart, swells with a profound emotion at that thought.”