The Transplant Journey: A Guide to Transplant: Extraordinary Stories, Hope and Encouragement (Paperback)
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The process of transplant is about restoring life. I mean how truly amazing is modern medicine and science They can now take organs from a person who is brain dead (yes, a person must be brain dead to be able to donate their organs; heart still beating, but no brain activity) and medication taken twice or more daily can keep that organ functioning and give new life to a person who, half a century ago, would be dead. And not just new life, but for many a life they had never dreamed of living.
About the Author
It has been just over six years since my heart transplant and I feel blessed to be able to share this information about the transplant experience with other transplant patients and their families. If anyone would have told me ten years ago that I would be writing about transplantation with a 17 year old boy's heart in my body, I would have thought them to be reading from a science fiction story. I was a very healthy, active person. I would have never believed that I would ever be as sick as to need an organ transplant. If my family and I had truly understood what the journey entailed, I feel that many challenges we faced would have been handled differently. My family and friends were amazing; it's just that there was so much that was unknown. I wish I had had more information at that time, and more understanding of how to negotiate the various twists and turns of the path. Most of all, I wish I had known more people who were going through the same type of experience. Before I go any further I have to be very very clear about the fact that I am not a medical professional, nor have I ever studied medicine. I am, however, a heart transplant recipient who has been through the experience firsthand. I am also the founder of Ava's Heart, a non-profit whose mission is to help those that have been given the gift of life have a better quality of life. We are in the midst of developing the most prominent health foundation in this country for those that have been given this most precious gift; LIFE. We have helped over a hundred families since our inception in November 2011, and I have been humbled by the courage every one of them drew upon to withstand the challenges ahead of them. The hope for our organization is to eventually expand our reach to help any transplant recipient across the US with their non-medical needs that insurance doesn't cover, with the intent to better each patient's personal transplant journey. The information I am sharing is based solely on what I have seen while I work firsthand with patients, what I myself have experienced, and the countless stories that humble me everyday. In the last four years I have experienced this journey with many patients and their families. I can say that each story is a very personal one. However there are still many things that we all share. I hope that these pages will be a helpful guide through the laughter and the tears that every patient and their loved ones must experience.