A Real Life Hero: David Barber, Patient Ambassador of the Year

No one is more deserving of our first-ever Patient Ambassador of the Year Award than heart failure and LVAD patient David Barber! David dedicates hundreds of hours a month mentoring other patients, training first responders and working with marketing to advocate for the programs that cared for him any chance he gets! He is a true inspiration to all he meets, and dedicates his life to spreading compassion, kindness and an "above and beyond" mentality.

Below are just a few of the wonderful things his caretakers and colleagues had to say about his service. To learn more about David's inspiring story, watch [unscripted]: David Barber's Story. Also check out this special video that FC Cincinnati made for David, commending him all his great work!

"As a patient, David has always been ready to confront what lies in front of him.  His positive attitude has brought him through his own trials and tribulations with greater success than was anticipated.  Now I see him encouraging so many that are facing similar hardship.  But what I admire the most is that he doesn't deny the struggle, he doesn't disguise the pain on the road to recovery.  Instead he seems to know how to connect with those suffering, to meet them where they are at, and fuel their fire for progress.   He gives patients hope, and he gives up hope.  He is truly an inspiration!" – Dr. Tom O'Brien

"David Barber is a real life hero.  He amazes us everyday with his enthusiasm to visit new patients to educate and encourage them pre and post VAD. He is completely unselfish as he is willing go out of his way to bring new implanted patients to support group.  He is forever ready and willing to help our LVAD team whether it be a patient, nurse or physician. We are in awe of his strength and agility to train for the Flying Pig, his endearing commitment to being a faithful fan of FCC and the Reds. He and Kelli are an example of what true love and friendship should be.  David does not have a mechanical heart, he has a heart of gold! He is a mentor, a friend, a true gentleman and it is an honor to be a part of his care." – VAD Coordinators

"This winter David Barber started participating in the LVAD trainings I conduct for emergency medical service agencies in the Greater Cincinnati region. His willingness to tell his story, openly discuss life with the LVAD, and allow EMTs, paramedics, and critical care transport nurses to poke, prod, listen, and ask questions is an immeasurable elevation of the experience these first responders get in their training.  He is truly an inspirational example of someone who is living his second chance at life to the fullest. His natural heart may have failed him, but I see his real heart each time we conduct a class together and there is no one with a bigger, stronger heart than David Barber." – Mark Johnston, EMS Coordinator

"David is resilient.  He brings enthusiasm to our patients, expresses life and living with an LVAD. He is a great guy and a superb example that this can be done!" – Bruno Lanman

"David has been such an inspiration to me.  He travels and is involved with a lot of activities.  Seeing him live life is so inspiring to me."
- Malachi Terry, 41-year-old LVAD patient

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