This image is claimed to be of a man holding his own heart after getting a transplant. Is this description true?

enter image description here


  • 8
    What's "amazing" about a removed organ being held by the organ's original owner? Heart transplantation very rarely leaves the original heart in the body, so the patient could certainly ask for a photo with the original in his hand.
    – Brian S
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:27
  • 1
    @BrianS Maybe nothing is amazing about this, but we don't require questions to challenge amazing claims. If you're challenging aitchnyu's reason for being skeptical, we also don't require that a person's reason for doubt to be notable or even stated.
    – user30557
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


It appears to be true. After finding a Reddit thread and reading through the comments I found a post by a user name XanderLink.

Hello all. Please allow me to introduce myself. My real name is Brandon but I go by Xander. I am the 19 year old in the picture above that so many of you seem to be skeptical of. On October 13, 2011, I received a heart transplant at Duke University as a result of Congestive Heart Failure, Tachycardia, Atrial Fibrilation, Atrial Flutter, and Viral Cardiomyopathy. I was the 838th heart transplant at Duke University since Duke started transplants.

I know this may seem hard to believe, but I invite you to visit my facebook page and read my note titled "My Story."


Following the XanderLink's link (Not sure if that is his real name or stage name. He appears to be in the music industry.) I was able to find the original picture. he also has a Facebook note explaining his story.

EDIT: After researching this a bit more I came across this article from International Business Times. It is about a woman who was holding her own heart after a transplant surgery. In the story it talks about the Reddit thread and the picture you were questioning. The story said the man in the picture was Brian Linkenhoker. The article had his name wrong. It is Brandon Linkenhoker and it appears that he is the man in the photo and has since passed away.

In summary, with the evidence available, it appears to be a true story and a real picture.

  • 6
    I think the conclusion is a bit "bold". Although that may as well be his Facebook page, there is nothing to prove he had his old heart in his hand, nor that it was a real heart at all. Citing as a source the person who put the photo around is not convincing evidence.
    – nico
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 10:58
  • 3
    Ok, that is fair. The proof available shows that it is a real picture, whether it is his heart or not is debatable, but it does say it is on the picture. Also I linked to another relevant article that shows a woman holding what they say is her old heart after a similar surgery. I felt that the two items in combination could offer evidence that it is true and a real picture. I have now edited my answer to show that.
    – Cruril
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 20:26
  • Just now came across this article tonight. This picture is of my brother. His name is Brandon Linkenhoker. His stage name was XanderLink. His middle name was Alexander. You can put two and two together. He received a heart transplant after contracting a strand of strep throat which attacked his heart, and it got worse from there. This is turely his heart. This was taken a couple of weeks after his transplant. This is a very remarkable picture. Going through these tough times in his life, changed him. For the better. He really saw how valuable life really was and did a complete 180. He will nev
    – user22278
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 4:31

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