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Village Properties Agent Thomas Johansen Speaks at Go Red For Women Event

Renee Grubb and Thomas Johansen.
Renee Grubb and Thomas Johansen.

Santa Barbara resident Thomas Johansen, a heart transplant survivor and agent at Village Properties, was among those who spoke about his experience at the Go Red for Women luncheon this month in Santa Barbara.

The Go Red for Women event honored local cardiac nurses and raised awareness of heart disease in women, as well as the need for women to take care of their health. The event at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort included a health expo.

Renee Grubb, who owns Village Properties, Santa Barbara County’s largest independent real estate brokerage, and is the current board chair for the American Heart Association of Santa Barbara, was among those attending to hear Johansen talk about his experiences as a heart transplant patient.

Go Red For Women is a campaign to raise awareness among women about the threat of heart disease and stroke, and to encourage women and their families to lead healthier lives as a preventative measure.

The campaign gives women opportunities to take charge of their own health, take preventative steps for better heart health, and have access to healthy choices while raising funds for research and education.

Johansen, 49, moved from Europe to Santa Barbara in 1995 and began working as a local real estate agent at Village Properties. Healthy and an avid cyclist, he began experiencing wheezing and went to the doctor for tests.

A cardiologist diagnosed him in 2012 with cardiomyopathy, a virus that attacks the heart, and he fought the disease for nearly five years while continuing to live a full life. Johansen’s heart health took a turn for the worse in 2017.

He was in and out of the hospital for months and told he needed a new heart from a transplant.

Johansen was finally approved for a transplant and placed on the waiting list. At one poin,t his heart stopped beating and he was saved by a defibrillator. He waited in the hospital for eight weeks in critical condition until he had his transplant in November 2017.

He continues to work today at Village Properties and mentors heart patients to offer support.

“I’m the outcome, the final product which they are going to get to also,” Johansen said in a Heart Association video about his experience posted on YouTube.

Honored at the Go Red for Women luncheon for their work were five cardiac nurses from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and one from Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital: Marsha Griggs, Sharon Morley, Zaida Pascual, Gary Tartar, Sue Weingartner and Samantha Yim.

To learn more about Johansen and to contact him, visit https://www.villagesite.com/agents/details/01401533/thomas-johansen.
 
— Jennifer Goddard for Village Properties.

 

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