FOX4: Saint Luke's Survivors Seat at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

February 8, 2017

Saint Luke's announces their first honoree for the Saint Luke's Survivor Seat at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. As part of Heart Month, Saint Luke's Health System is honoring a heart patient with this special seat.

Dr. Michael Borkon met Kamal Mikhail at his very worst in April of 2012. Mikhail's heart had failed, and most doctors had given up on him, but Dr. Borkon saw him as a candidate for a heart transplant. On April 21, 2012, Mikhail became the 540th patient to receive a new heart at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. Mikhail not only praises Dr. Borkon but also the entire staff of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute for returning him to the live he loves.

"Little did I know that Saint Luke's is in the top 10 in heart transplants in the nation and in the top 20 of heart clinic nationally," Mikhail said. "And it's right in our own backyard."

Since his heart transplant, he's helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and he is hoping to use his contacts in the construction business to help build a lodge where families of heart patients can stay while they're getting treatment. Mikhail and his wife, Mary Lynn, are strong supporters of Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute. They have helped establish The Cardiac Surgery & Transplant Fund, which is dedicated to providing funding to support a research scholar to assist the surgeons and physicians at the heart institute with transplant and surgery-related research. 

To honor his dedication to heart health, Saint Luke's chose Mikhail as their first Saint Luke’s Survivor Seat recipient. His heart surgeon, turned dear friend, will introduce him. "Kamal gets first chance and as a transplant survivor and one who's given back to the community, I can't think of a better recipient," Dr. Borkon said.

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A Michael Borkon, MD

Heart Transplant, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Surgical Critical Care