“Meche’s” man on third heart - KLFY News 10

“Meche’s” man on third heart

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Can one man make the most of receiving two hearts in his life. Lafayette Donut King Ricky Meche seems to think so.

At 22 years old, per-donuts, Ricky went for a routing physical exam, only to discover his heart wasn't what he thought it was.

"They told me I had a problem with my heart," said Ricky. "That's when it all started."

Ricky explained that he and one of his brother both inherited forms of cardiomyopathy, which in Ricky's case, resulted from an enlarged heart. When each Meche's man turned 32, they received much more than a birthday cake. They received new hearts.

"At the time I was given a ten year life expectancy," Ricky began. "My brother made it to the ten years. I made it to 26."

Thoracic surgeon Dr. Charles Wyatt, M.D., said Ricky is in the minority; only a small percent of people with heart transplants make it over 20 years.

Although he has never treated Ricky, in an expert opinion, Wyatt explained, "The reasons that most heart transplants fail down the road is a hardening of the arteries. The reason that happens is because a patient has to take so much medicine to keep their body from rejecting the new heart, that it actually causes a different disease."

During those 26 years, Meche went on to make the Guilbeau location of Meche's Donut King one of the strongest locations. However, recent exams results showed his heart was indeed beginning to fail due to clogged and block arteries. When he made a trip to St. Luke's Heart Hospital in Texas, Ricky said he was fully prepared to never return to Louisiana or his donut shop.

"I thought I was just going to die with this one."

Long-time employee Nicole Domingue said she remembers getting a call from Ricky, asking her to take care of his shop and of his wife, Charlotte, and their daughter. Domingue offered him a warm 'get well soon' and many wishes that he would return

"Every time the door would open, and we would see a man walk in with a white shirt and his height we would think 'oh, there's Ricky!' It wasn't him," Domingue sadly said.

While surrounded by his family and friends, doctors walked in to offer Meche heart-racing news.

"I was freaking out. I said, 'wait, you're going to give me another heart transplant?'" said Meche.

On December 15th, 2013, 58 year old Meche received his third and what he hopes to be, his final heart. Domingue gushed when she heard the news.

"I was shopping and everyone was laughing at me cause I was so excited to hear that he was going to get the heart and come home soon."

To ensure his heart can keep up with sweet treat orders, doctor's implanted a pace-maker at the beginning of January of 2014. Meche returns to Lafayette permanently in February to help with the height of Mardi Gras/king cake season.

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