CHARLOTTE, NC – A Butler High School Assistant football coach is home and recovering after undergoing a heart transplant at the age of 26.

Denzel Irvin has dedicated his life to physical fitness, but when he started experiencing Covid-like systems, he was rushed to the hospital. His Covid tests were negative, instead, his heart was failing.

The UNC Charlotte grad, personal trainer and Butler High School assistant football coach says he is a man of god and relentlessly positive athlete.

“I felt like I had Covid. And then they told me it was negative,” explained Irvin, “I was light headed. I was vomiting. Headache. Shortness of breath.”

Irvin passed out and was rushed to the hospital.

“It was a big shock. Nobody really knew because it didn’t make sense at all,” said Irvin.

“We had enough evidence up front to know that his heart really was failing,” said Dr. Joseph Mishkin, the head of Atrium Health Heart Transplant division.

Irvin’s heart wasn’t getting enough blood to other organs.

“It became apparent  that the heart wasn’t going to get better. So despite our interventions, he can continue to have very advanced heart failure,” said Dr. Mishkin.

Irvin needed a transplant. Within a month, doctors found a match. Irvin, a father to a 5 year old girl, was preparing for massive surgery. Always keeping a positive mindset.

“I think that’s what got me through because I never really panicked. I never really worried about it. I knew that at the right time it would come,” said Irvin.

Six days after the surgery; Irvin walked out of the hospital. He’s now home. Focusing on what’s important in his life and taking his story to others.


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