Pastor suffers near-fatal heart trauma while preaching; receives life-saving heart transplant at AdventHealth

Pastor heart transplant

Central Florida South, ORLANDO, Fla., May 23, 2020 — Divine intervention and a healthy dose of modern medicine helped save a Central Florida man of faith who almost died – a traumatic experience that was livestreamed on YouTube.

With a long history of heart issues, Mark Berney, pastor of River of Life Assembly of God church in Merritt Island, Fla., experienced heart trauma while delivering a March 15 sermon. He nearly died on the spot, but a defibrillator and prayers of the faithful helped keep him alive.

 

As shown in the video still on YouTube, Berney, 61, collapsed during the sermon, falling back on a chair while preaching. The congregation laid hands on him, prayed and called 911, and he was rushed to a local hospital.

After a visit to AdventHealth Orlando, it was determined that Berney would require a heart transplant. Berney received that heart transplant April 22 at AdventHealth Orlando and recently returned home. This week, he returned for a check-up and is recovering well.

 

Highlights in the above b-roll and sound:

 

Pastor Mark Berney, River of Life Assembly of God Church, Merritt Island, Fla.:

  • On faith during a heart crisis…
  • On realizing he nearly died at church…
  • On his experience at AdventHealth…
  • Giving thanks to the heart donor family…
  • On the essential combination of faith and science…
  • Additional b-roll footage of Pastor Berney at AdventHealth Orlando.

Dr. Nirav Raval, Thoracic Medical Director at AdventHealth Transplant Institute:

  • On the urgency of Berney’s heart condition…
  • On transplants during COVID-19…
  • On what has changed with medical care due to COVID-19…

AdventHealth Transplant Institute has been very active with transplants despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 1, AdventHealth has performed nearly 60 organ transplants, including this new heart for a renewed local pastor.