By Lenny Bernstein

March 4, 2017

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Paul Corby needs a new heart. On that there is no dispute. The same rare disease that killed his father at 27 is destroying his left ventricle. While there is no cure or surgery that might repair the damage, a heart transplant could extend his life considerably.

 

But Corby, who lives in Pottsville, Pa., is autistic, suffers from several psychological conditions and takes 19 medications. When he applied to the transplant program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, he was rejected because of his “psychiatric issues, autism, the complexity of the process . . . and the unknown and unpredictable effect of steroids on behavior,” according to the denial letter sent to his mother.