PINEHURST, N.C. (WNCN) — Jordan Keshler and his long-time buddies posed for a picture at the Payne Stewart statue on the hallowed Pinehurst grounds just moments before teeing off on course Number 2.
“It’s going to be great to walk the same fairways and putt on the same greens as your heroes and the people you see on TV on a Sunday afternoon,” said Keshler.
But this is not just any round of golf. For Keshler, it’s a round of a lifetime.
The Upstate New York native has congenital heart disease. Ten years ago while visiting his dad in the hospital, Keshler collapsed in the waiting room and underwent open-heart surgery for a blood clot.
The next six years were a challenge as his health declined, at one point his heart was working at just nine percent of its capacity. But at his darkest moment, Keshler found hope.
“Yeah, the birth of my daughter and deciding to push myself to go for a transplant to be here for her to raise her,” Keshler said about what motivated him to get help. “And now we have another one on the way and being able to raise them, they won’t be without a father.”
Keshler received a new heart and new lease on life, which he is now living to the fullest.
“This is definitely a second chance at life,” said Keshler. “You have to live like that every day and do something with it.”
Keshler is doing just that. He’s very active in raising awareness about heart disease and the importance of becoming an organ donor.
“Yeah, one person can save eight other lives,” Keshler explained. “And (maybe) my future daughter will not have to go through what I had to go through.”
Keshler admits he’s lucky to be alive. Yet here he is, checking off a “bucket list” moment in Pinehurst with three of his closest friends.