Former Pacers player Pollard receives gift of new heart


Four days after his 49th birthday, Scot Pollard received the ultimate present.

“The donor heart was an incredibly timely gift,” said Pollard, who played three seasons with the Indiana Pacers during his 11-year NBA career. “I hadn’t realized how bad I had gotten, especially recently. People are commenting on how much better I look and sound. Definitely the best birthday gift I’ve ever received.”

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Scot Pollard stands a day after receiving his heart transplant. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Pollard)

The 6-foot-11 Carmel resident received a heart transplant Feb. 16 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He suffered from a genetic condition, post-ventricular contractions, that caused his heart to beat more than it should. His father, Pearl Pollard, died at age 54 while waiting for a heart transplant.

“I’m very fortunate to have been held here based on my test results,” Pollard said. “The other hospital teams all agreed with them, and the speed with which they found a donor heart is due to their incredible volume of donors and transplants year in and out. It could have/would have been a much longer wait in another hospital.”

Pollard was admitted Feb. 7 to the hospital’s intensive care unit when registering for a heart transplant.

“The best advice I was given was probably, ‘You’re staying here. Get accustomed to that idea,’ because I hadn’t realized how bad I had gotten,” he said. “Even including all the healing pains and side effects from new drugs, I feel better than when I got here.”

Pollard was standing and walking with a walker the day after the transplant.

“The docs are not really surprised because of my age and fitness level entering surgery,” he said. “But I’m going fast toward getting out, at least right now, and that’s ahead of even what they thought.”

Pollard, who was in the ICU for about two weeks, said he will stay in Nashville for at least six weeks post release for follow up appointments.

“It’s too far away to guess when I’ll be back in Carmel,” he said.

Pollard said he and his wife, Dawn, plan on continuing to be advocates of organ donation.

“You won’t need the organs anymore and you can be a hero to many people,” Pollard said.