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Scot Pollard, ‘Survivor’ Alum and former NBA Player, in Hospital Awaiting Heart Transplant

Scot Pollard, ‘Survivor’ Alum and former NBA Player, in Hospital Awaiting Heart Transplant

In basketball, Scot Pollard proved to be a good teammate thanks to his size, but that may backfire for the Survivor entrant. Pollard is in a hospital right now, waiting to have a heart transplant. He’s suffered in the past year or two with an irregular heartbeat.

Additionally, Pollard also has had a couple of surgical procedures called ablations. Those procedures are done to help break up irregular heartbeat situations. What is so daunting about trying to get a new heart is Pollard is 6’11 and 260 pounds.

This week, Pollard entered into the intensive care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is committed to staying there until a replacement is found for him. “I’m staying here until I get a heart,” Pollard said in a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday night. “My heart got weaker. (Doctors) agree this is my best shot at getting a heart quicker.”

Scot Pollard Has His Size Working Against Him

One thing working against Pollard is his size. Because of this, most normal-sized hearts will not work for him. His heart is beating an extra 10,000 times per day. Pollard got sick with a virus in 2021, and that triggered the heart situation. He was born with a genetic condition, and that stirred his current heart problem. This genetic condition does run in Pollard’s family and it led to his father dying at 54 years old.

“That was an immediate wake-up call,” Pollard said in a telephone interview, NBC News reports. “You don’t see a lot of old (7-) footers walking around. So I’ve known that my whole life, just because I had that seared into my brain as a 16-year-old, that — yeah, being tall is great, but I’m not going to see 80.”

In college, Pollard helped the Kansas Jayhawks make four consecutive trips to the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s Sweet 16. He was a first-round NBA draft choice who played for five different teams in 11 seasons. Pollard played just 55 seconds for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their 2007 NBA Finals run. He then picked up an NBA Championship ring with Boston the following season. That was despite Pollard missing the latter half of the season due to an injury.

‘Survivor’ Contestant Does Struggle At Times

“It feels like I’m walking uphill all the time,” Pollard said on the telephone. He said that he might have to cut the interview short due to feeling tired.

Doctors have told Pollard that more medication or even another ablation will not fix the problem. “They all agree that more ablations aren’t going to fix this, more medication isn’t going to fix that,” Pollard said. “We need a transplant.”

Right now, Pollard is simply waiting for a preferred heart to be donated. He’s signed up with different donor agencies around the United States. Yet when one becomes available, he’s going to have to be really close to the hospital in that town.

“It’s out of my hands. It’s not even in the doctor’s hands,” Pollard said. “(And) It’s up to the donor networks.”

But Pollard is not going anywhere. He’s going to stay in the hospital until a new heart is found. In another text, Pollard wrote, “They can’t predict, but they are confident I’ll get a heart in weeks not months.”