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Prescription for Heart Transplant Patients: Marriage

--Some marriages, they say, are made in heaven. But the marriage this weekend of Susan Steffy and Gary Welp was, to put it loosely, made in a hospital. Steffy, 36, of Mount Vernon, Ill., and Welp, 35, of St. Louis, both had heart transplant operations at University Hospital in St. Louis, and it was there that they found a song in their hearts. “I just feel overjoyed,” the bride said of her second marriage. “This is a perfect day.” It’s also believed to be the first such marriage in the United States. The guest list was topped by a woman Susan and the bridegroom had never met: the mother of a 16-year-old girl whose heart gave Susan a second chance in life. Shirley Fisher of Gas City, Ind., donated her daughter Elaine’s heart for the January, 1983, transplant operation after the girl had died of a stroke. “Susan told me (her wedding day) would never have been if it wasn’t for the heartfelt gift,” Fisher said. “I’m so happy for her, and I know Elaine has given not only life, but new love to someone.” Welp, a cab driver who in January, 1984, received the heart of a teen-ager who died in an auto accident, said: “If somebody had told me about this a year ago, I’d have said they were crazy. But we just fell in love.”

--The year was 1530, and Michelangelo was fretting while Florence was under siege by soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire. He was worried about his food supply, according to a rare document found by art historian Larysa Beyer, who was doing research on Michelangelo’s poetry. The document, which was part of a rare manuscript collection donated to Washington University in 1962, reads: “I, Michelagniolo Buonarroti, have at home eight barrels of wine and about two barrels of beans and one half barrel of vinegar and four mouths to feed.”

--Former Apollo astronaut James Irwin, who suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this month while jogging, was released from a Colorado Springs, Colo., hospital. Irwin, 56, who drove an electric cart on the moon in 1971, said: “The first week was rough and hectic on me and the nurses, but I feel wonderful now, and it’s always nice to go home.” Irwin, a devout Christian and founder of the fundamentalist High Flight Foundation, has spent the last several years searching for Noah’s ark on Turkey’s Mt. Ararat. He said he will soon resume his search.

--A plaza at the St. Louis Zoo will be remodeled and named “Marlin Perkins Plaza” in honor of the longtime host of Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” Perkins, who died of cancer on June 14 at the age of 81, had once served as a director of the zoo.

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