“Your baby’s only hope for survival is a heart transplant.” No parent is ever prepared to hear those words. And you never forget them, nor who said them, nor the day they were spoken.
Sometimes it takes a life-changing event to shift your perspective on what’s important in life, and no event is more life-changing than death. Since my own death in November 2014, I have learned more about living.
My heart trouble started in 1997, when I was 50. Driving to work with my wife, Gerri, one morning, I stopped at a convenience store for coffee. Suddenly I started to get chest pains and could not breathe very well.
As I was running, I suddenly felt a pain. No, not like the pain that is commonly associated with a muscle pull or a bone pain, but a burning pain. The pain was right around the sternum. There was no way I was REALLY sick. Right?
They were watching TV when his friend Blake Wilson heard a thump in the kitchen and found Daniel face down on the floor. Wilson yelled for the two other boys, Jon Evert and Blake Perez. Perez called 911, and with direction from the 911 operator, Evert began CPR.
Keith Short is blessed to be alive - a doctor told him so as he let him know his heart had sustained serious damage that could not heal or be repaired. Keith wants others to not do what he did.
Heart disease was never something I worried about much. However, when my father died at 72 during open-heart surgery, I became less cavalier and much more concerned about my own potential for a heart attack.
At age 69, I had no history of heart problems. On Saturday, August 9, 2014, suddenly I felt dizzy and that was the last I remember. My husband found me wedged between the nightstand and the bed. Immediately he called 911.
When the doctor told Roxanne that the back pain she’d had for six weeks was due to a heart attack she was shocked. Within four years, she received the gift of a new heart. She has since recruited thousands of organ donors.
Before her heart attack, Barbara loved being a mom, wife, vegetarian and healthy. There were no red flags.
When Kimby woke from gall bladder surgery, she felt intense pain in her upper arms and yelled for help. Immediately she was surrounded by medical professionals asking questions about her heart.
"With a total of four stents will I ever have enough strength to return to normal activities?" I asked. I suspect others who have had surgery or a serious illness are left wondering the same thing.