Former NBA, Kansas C Scot Pollard rings bell at hospital 2 weeks after heart transplant

Scot Pollard was in good spirits on Thursday and appeared to leave the hospital nearly two weeks after undergoing a heart transplant.

The former NBA and Kansas center rung the bell at the Vanderbilt Transplant Center in Nashville, Tennessee, 13 days after his surgery. He did so to a round of applause from the hospital staff who lined up to watch the milestone moment. Pollard’s wife Dawn shared video of the moment on social media.

Neither Pollard nor Dawn clarified, but the bell-ringing appeared to signify his release from the hospital. The ringing of a hospital bell has come to mark milestones in treatments such a cancer patients completing their final round of chemotherapy. Pollard was in street clothes and smiling as he rung the bell.

Pollard admitted to ICU on Feb. 7 in need of heart

Thursday’s moment arrived three weeks after Pollard was admitted to Vanderbilt’s intensive care unit with a condition exacerbated by a genetic disorder that caused his heart to beat an extra 10,000 times per day. He told the Associated Press on Feb. 7 that he wasn’t leaving the hospital until he found a donor and underwent a transplant.

Pollard, 48, said that he’d tried medications and procedures including the installation of a pacemaker, but that nothing successfully addressed the condition that he believes was triggered by a virus years ago.

“I’m staying here until I get a heart,” Pollard said. “My heart got weaker. [Doctors] agree this is my best shot at getting a heart quicker.”

Scot Pollard, seen here in 2006 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has a new heart after a successful transplant. (Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Complicating the search was that doctors needed to find a donor heart big and strong enough to pump blood for the 6-11 ex-athlete who played in the NBA at 260 pounds.

Dawn wrote on social media on Feb. 16 that doctors had found a heart that was “big, powerful and is a perfect fit!” She shared images of Scot getting his head, face and chest shaved ahead of the heart transplant while thanking the donor who “gave the most amazing gift of life.”

Dawn updated her social media followers after the transplant that the “surgery went well.” She continued to provide update videos of Scot moving and walking after his procedure.

A Feb. 26 video showed Scott in good spirits and walking on his own without a walker or being hooked up to IVs and medical devices.

Now, three days later, it appears that Pollard has been released from the hospital.

Pollard: ‘I did not realize how sick I was’

Pollard told Sacramento’s CBS 13 after his procedure that the donor’s heart was a perfect fit.

“A big heart came available,” Pollard said. “It wouldn’t fit anybody else. It wouldn’t fit a normal-size person.”

He said that the donor’s family chose to remain anonymous, but that he was reaching out with a message of thanks.

“All I know is it was a big man, and we’re going to reach out through the network,” Pollard continued. … Keeping the donor’s family in mind, it was good fortune for me that a big man with a healthy heart had passed. I say that knowing full well the tragedy they had to live through in losing their loved one.

“Luckily he was a donor and he saved a lot of people’s lives.”

Pollard told CBS 13 that he felt better when he woke up from the five-hour transplant procedure.

“I did not realize how sick I was. To wake up from a transplant of this magintude and feel better? Whoa. I was sic.

Pollard played four seasons at Kansas from 1993-97 before joining the NBA as the No. 19 pick in the draft by the Detroit Pistons. KU celebrated Thursday’s news with a highlight reel of his playing days on social media.

Pollard went on to play 11 NBA seasons with the Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. He won an NBA championship in 2008 in his final NBA season with the Celtics. He competed on CBS reality show “Survivor” following his retirement from basketball.

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