By Gary BuisoJune 8, 2014 | 12:52am
This guy’s all heart.
It’s been 30 years since Jason Blatter became the first child in New York to receive a heart transplant, and he marked the June 5 milestone with something he’s become all too familiar with over the years — a doctor’s visit.
The medicine he was taking so his body wouldn’t reject the foreign organ has crippled his kidneys, and now he needs a new one.
Despite the grave news, Blatter, 44, is no quitter.
“No way — I’ve already been through hell,” he told The Post.
Originally from Orangeburg in Rockland County, Blatter, now lives in Fort Lee, NJ. He was born with a congenital defect that left holes in the walls of his heart’s chambers.
Doctors tried to treat him — his first surgery was at age 2. Many procedures would follow — cardiologists tried to replace a defective tricuspid valve in his heart when he was 10, but the organ continued to grow weaker.
He was then diagnosed with cardiomyopathy — an enlarged heart with diminished pumping ability — and it was obvious a new heart was the only hope.
In 1984, doctors gave Blatter, then 14 and weighing just 60 pounds, a 40 percent chance of surviving the 12-hour operation at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Yet he beat the odds. “I felt terrific when I woke up,” he recalled.
He did his best to live a normal life. He worked at an electronics store, moved to Chicago for a bit.
But he was diagnosed with heart failure in 2003, and three years later, had a second heart transplant performed at Columbia-Presbyterian.
“I felt like a new person,” he said.
Last year, the kidney problems started, and he’s been enduring four-hour dialysis treatments three times a week.
He’s low on organ-donor lists, yet as always is optimistic. “Once I get my kidney I can restart my life again,” he said.
Blatter — an avid harness racing fan who collects toaster ovens and lunch boxes — is always quick with a laugh.
“When people ask him what he does, he says, ‘I’m a professional patient — my job is to survive,’” said his brother Michael Blatter, 50. “When you meet Jason you realize the things we contend with day to day are not really that important.”