According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, one in every four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease.  

In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.

One man in Acadiana is beating the odds, though, with not one but two hearts. 

Rickey Meche, 63, is up and at ’em every morning making breakfast for Acadiana. 

He says he never expected to see his 42nd birthday. 

 “The doctor told me flat out, you’re not going to live to be an old man with this heart,” Meche said. 

At 22, doctors diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy- a disease making ir difficult for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

It’s often passed through genetics. 

“It was just growing big, thick. The thicker it would get, the weaker it would get,” Meche said. 

Meche needed a heart transplant, which was a relatively new producer in the 1980s. 

“At the time that I had it done, 10 years was the life expectancy,” said Meche. 

But his heart lasted way longer than the 10-year makr. 

His brother, Rowdy Meche, was diagnosed with the same disease and suffered a different fate. 

 “Rowdy was 42. He was 32 when he had it done and he was 42 when he died,” Meche said. “There was nothing they could do. The medicine had taken a toll on him. I just thought I won’t be much longer. I was at the funeral telling everybody, I’ll be there soon. I just kept going.”

And Meche, indeed, kept going, working here at Rickey Meche’s Donuts on Guilbeau for the last 30 years. His heart though did give out after 27 years, prompting a need for a second heart transplant.”

He was 57 when he underwent a second heart transplant. 

That was more than five years ago. 

And he contributes his survival all to luck. 

“I exercised pretty often and I eat the doughnuts. I’ve been eating them for years. I think that’s the main thing just keep having fun,” he said. 

Meche says he’s seen more people willing to donate their organs now compared to the 1980’s.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 54% of U.S. adults are signed up as donors.

Right now, more than 114,000 people currently need an organ transplant.