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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah doctors performed a rare heart-liver transplant on a Utah man who had suffered at least 16 heart attacks in the past nine years.

The recipient, 31-year-old Michael Mader, says the procedure helped save his life. Mader says he already feels more energetic and is breathing and sleeping better.

Mader had his first heart attack when he was 22. He was diagnosed at the age of 3 with a rare liver disease which led to heart problems.

He waited nearly two years before having surgery on April 23. He was released May 6, and impressed doctors when he showed up a news conference this week looking fit and healthy.

Officials say it was the first such procedure done on an adult patient in the Intermountain states of Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming.

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