Mark and Deb Kohls

Deb Kohls, vice president of Best Parks in America, has had a frantic winter. So has her husband, Mark.

Mark Kohls, 63, an RV financing vice president with Bank of America Specialty Group based in Southern California, suffered a heart attack on Nov. 21 while a patient in the cardiac unit at an Orange County hospital. He was placed atop a heart transplant list on Dec. 29, and on Jan. 27 he received a new heart at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills, Calif., from a 24-year-old male donor.

The speed with which a new heart became available was faster than both the medical community and Kohls expected.

“It’s been an amazing experience, a life-changing experience,” Deb Kohls told Woodall’s Campground Management. “For six years we knew it (a heart transplant) was inevitable. We just didn’t realize it would happen so fast. Once he went downhill, he went downhill very fast.”

Mark Kohls had suffered from cardiomyopathy for the past six years.

Deb Kohls works for Virginia-based Best Parks out of her home office in Huntington Beach, Calif.

“It’s been a big miracle in our lives and we are so blessed,” said Kohls, who for 10 years was senior vice president of Friend Communications and its successor company, Leisure Interactive. She joined Best Parks on Nov. 1.

“He is excited about getting on with his life, moving forward, living a healthy lifestyle and getting a second chance to live life at its fullest,” Kohls said of her husband. Up until mid-2010 when health issues disabled him from working, he was a well-known lender in the RV industry with accounts in the South Central part of the U.S. Before that, he was employed with Fleetwood Credit Corp.

Kohls expects to be released from the hospital within a few days. They both encourage everyone to consider organ donation as a gift of life.