Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient, has been named the United States Sports Academy’s Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award Winner. The award is presented annually to the individual who “demonstrates courageous action in overcoming adversity to excel in sport,” according to a release.
The 33-year-old, who earned his PGA Tour card in 2012 for the first time, was diagnosed at age 9 with viral cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the muscle is inflamed and unable to pump as hard as it should. He underwent his first heart transplant when he was 12 and a second transplant in 2008, following a major heart attack.
This season, Compton has made the cut in 16 of 25 events, with nearly $360,000 in earnings. He has spent much of his spare time helping to raise awareness and education Americans about organ donations.
“I hope that by sharing my experience others can see the importance of finding out more about organ donation,” he said in a release. “After my second transplant, I knew I wasn’t done with golf and consider when I made the cut in the 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic less than six months later to start my comeback. That makes receiving this award at the tournament all that much more meaningful to me.”