my story | personal plea | books | links
People who see me around probably wonder why I always have a tube in my nose. (It's oxygen, of course, but that doesn't explain much.) Or why I can't work. Or why I ride around the stores and elsewhere on a scooter.
I was born with a congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. I had three major surgeries as a child, the last one being open-heart surgery at the age of ten. This was 1967, and that sort of thing was new enough to be considered miraculous. However, my left pulmonary artery collapsed in surgery and has been blocked ever since, rendering my left lung rather useless.
In recent years the pressure from that blood not being able to get through has built up, causing pulmonary hypertension, congestive heart failure, leaky valves, and severe restrictive lung disease. I also have heart rhythm problems--multiple premature ventricular contractures.
Apparently doctors can do nothing to reverse my decline. In the meantime I live a very limited life, with all sorts of discomforts, of which I am grateful for every moment, and I'm trying to get listed for a heart-lung transplant.
You can follow my ongoing story by reading
my online journal
I've got something I just have to get off my chest.
If you know me you know how freely I dispense advice and opinions. Well, if you've never paid attention in the past, please consider beginning now.
I don't want to freak you out, but my health problems have deteriorated to the point that in the next year or two I will probably need a heart and lung transplant to save my life. Unfortunately, unless things change, my odds will not be so great when the time comes. There just aren't enough hearts to go around. The statistics are staggering.
Please, help change the odds by choosing to donate your organs when you're through with them. Save the life of someone like me so that maybe someone like you will save my life. It will be the most important gift you've ever given, and it won't cost you a dime.
Sign a donor card (you can download one), but more importantly tell your family of your wish to share the gift of life.
I know some people are uncomfortable with the idea of donation, especially in light of certain myths that surround transplantation. Please, if you have any reservations, at least do me the personal favor of taking time to look into the facts about donation and transplantation. Visit the websites listed below.
Organ Transplants: Making the Most of Your Gift of Life, by Robert Finn
Success With Heart Failure: Help and Hope for Those with Congestive Heart Failure, by Marc A. Silver
Complete Guide to Prescription and Nonprescription Drugs 2004, by H. Winter Griffith, MD, Stephen Moore, MD
||Organ Donation Links
*book sales from these links benefit the UU
Fellowship of Jonesboro, in association with Amazon.com.
I myself receive no part of the sales.