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December 21, 2014

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Gondo released from UCLA Medical Center

His doctors told Glen Gondrezick they had never heard of a heart transplant patient leaving the hospital within a week after having the life-saving surgery.

But Gondo was released today.

He underwent the transplant last Saturday.

In fact, his doctors were ready to let him go on Friday, until they prescribed new medication and decided to keep him until today for observation.

He will spend the next couple of weeks at a "halfway house" of sorts for transplant patients, just a few blocks from UCLA Medical Center.

After that, barring complications, he'll return home to get ready for the start of the UNLV basketball season, where he will continue his longtime role as radio broadcast analyst.

The Rebel basketball legend said one of the biggest adjustments he has had to make with a healthy heart is getting used to the sound it makes.

"I went from a flabby piece of tissue to this roar," he said of the pounding in his chest.

His heart was pumping at only 9 percent of normal capacity when he was wheeled into surgery. Now, the transplanted heart is up to 58 percent, after his latest electrocardiogram.

Gondo said 50-55 percent is considered very good for a transplanted heart. Sixty percent is considered exceptional.

"The first month is critical," he said of his long-term prognosis. "But the doctors said they'd never seen anybody walking out of the hospital in five days, which I was prepared to do."

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