Posts Tagged ‘Heart Transplant’

One Year

September 9, 2010

…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? -Esther 4:14

One year ago Paul Cardall got the news:  The heart he desperately needed for transplant was available! Since then he’s resumed his career as an award-winning musician, started a Foundation that grants scholarships to CHDers to attend college, written a book, and become one of the most effective Congenital Heart Defect Advocates that I know of.

Congratulations, Paul! Even though we have never met in person, I am proud to call you my friend and fellow Heart Warrior. Thank you for all you do to fight heart defects, and may your new heart be continually filled with the love of your friends and family.


A new link to an old friend

August 29, 2010

Paul Cardall has started a new blog. Titled Before My Heart Stops, it is a series of inspirational writings related to the story of his heart transplant and his new book. You can find a link in my blogroll, labeled Heart Warrior Paul’s Book Blog.

The link to his Living For Eden blog is still there, too, for anyone who happens by and wishes to read it. He hasn’t said anything about taking it down, and in fact earlier when he was contemplating ending it, he was going to leave it up for anyone who might be facing a heart transplant and was searching the internet for information. So if he’s going to leave it up, I’ll keep a link to it. Living for Eden is a wonderful story, much too valuable to fade into oblivion.

And Paul is a true Gentleman – I wrote him a few weeks ago, and asked if I mailed him a copy of his new book, would he autograph it for me? It arrived a few days ago, and on the inside front cover it reads:


The heart to climb the Mountain

June 9, 2010

1:00 PM June 9, 2010: Paul Cardall at the top of Mount Olympus

“You gotta have the heart to climb the mountain if you wanna see the other side.” – Randy Travis


“Get outta here, kid!”

May 26, 2010

Gabriella had her heart transplant on May 17 (We followed her progress HERE) and on May 25th, her doctors kicked her to the curb!

It is my understanding she is still in the area – living in a temporary home while her doctors get her meds exactly right and her parents learn how to care for a post-transplant child – but she is no longer in the hospital!

Change of Heart, Part II

March 29, 2010

Sharon concludes the story of her husband’s heart transplant. I’ve also included a link to Part One just in case you missed it!

It’s been a year since these events took place, and Anthony continues to do well with his new heart! And be sure to leave a comment (on Sharon’s blog, not here!) wishing her and Anthony the best!

If you haven’t signed an Organ Donor card yet, why not?

Heart-a-versary, Part I

Heart-a-versary, Part II

Change of Heart

March 26, 2010

“You can  settle for less – an ordinary life – or do you feel that you were meant for something better? Something special?”

I used to have a T-shirt that read “Change of Heart at UAB”. UAB is the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and in the late 1970’s it was THE place for Cardiac surgery in the Southeast. After my second heart surgery the staff expected you to get up and get around, and one day my “travels” took me into the hospital gift shop, where I bought my shirt. My dad contended that had to be the most expensive shirt I had ever bought (Buy a T-shirt, get a FREE Heart Operation!) but I was proud of it.

But right now, I’m going to send you on a trip. You’ll be visiting my friend Sharon, who is going to tell you the story of an event that happened last year – one year ago exactly, March 26, 2009.

“Pack a suitcase for 3 days and get here as soon as possible,” he said. I started to cry and scream all at the same time. “You’re kidding? Thank G-d!!! We have it! You’re getting the heart!!!” I still get tears when I think of this moment.

You’ve guessed it – you are going to ride along with Sharon as her husband gets a desperately needed heart transplant. You won’t find the entire story – Sharon says she was in tears as she wrote it and had to take a break. But you will see the next part when she posts it.

And I bet you’ll be in tears, also.

But for right now, GO! I told Sharon that she’s have some company today!

Click here to read Sharon and Anthony’s story!

Friday Music: The Load Out

March 25, 2010

For Anthony, who got a new heart on March 26, 2009.
And for Paul Cardall.
And Euan Sharp.

Sung to the Tune of “The Load Out” by Jackson Browne.

Now the halls are all empty
Visiting hours ended long ago

All the patients have settled down
And she’s the first to come and last to leave
Looking for what can’t be found
Tonight the patients are alright
Waiting for their time
And she always tells them to never give up
And they’re so sweet–
But now she can hear the sound
Of a telephone loud and clear

And that’s the sound she loves to hear

Now call the Surgeon and wake up the flight team
Prep the gear and check it all again,

‘Cause when it comes to moving fast
You know you guys always win

But when everything’s been packed away
We’ve got one more call to make
So just make sure you are all set to roll
Before I let the family know.

Now the plane is on the way
And the patient is ready to go

We’ve got to fly all night
and save a heart in Chicago
or Detroit, I don’t know

We’ll go anywhere we need to go
And all hospitals just look the same
We just pass the time in the corner of the room
Trying not to get in the way

Till our turn comes and we receive the heart
And then we’re on our way home

Now we got extra ice and saline on the plane

We’ve got the surgeons on the telephone
We’ve got Air Traffic Control on the radio
We’ve got time to think about what we do

Carrying your life in our hands
And you’ve got time to be with the ones you love

While the miles just roll away
But the only thing that isn’t fair
Is we never get to see your face.

People you’ve got the power over what we do
You can sit there and wait
Or you can pull us through

So come along, pray us home
With your help we can’t go wrong
‘Cause when that morning sun cracks the sky
You’re going to wake up with a new lease on life
But we’ll be scheduled to appear
A thousand miles away from here…

LIVE Heart Transplant!

March 16, 2010

I was searching the American College of Cardiology meeting posts on Twitter and came across this tweet from Euan Sharp:

Called for heart transplant @ 1:29am. In hospital getting prepped. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky!!

… and there hasn’t been anything else since.

Euan has a Twitter account ( ) so you can follow him as we wait for an update. And keep him in your thoughts!

Go Euan! Third time is the charm!

Pump up the ventricle!

March 12, 2010

I’ve received a press release from my friends at the Broken Hearts of the Big Bend concerning new heart pumps – better known as Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) – being developed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. These VADs are pretty special – they are just the right size for children! (Make sure that you page down to the bottom of the page and see just how small these devices really are!)

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has signed a contract with Maryland to begin preclinical testing of the new devices. Preclinical testing occurs before the new instrument is ever used – it’s a test of systems and a safety study. And you may know one of the VAD developers: Dr. Robert Jarvick, who invented the Jarvick-7 artificial heart.

Ventricular Assist Devices (usually attached to the Left Ventricle and sometimes called LVADs) are small, self-contained pumps that can be surgically attached to a heart and help it pump blood. With the workload reduced, a weak heart can function longer and increase the odds of lasting until a heart transplant becomes available. Under the right circumstances the heart can rest and regain some function.

385 Days, 2700 People, 1 Concert

February 17, 2010

Salt Lake City, Utah heard something very few people expected to hear Monday, February 15, 2010. Not a voice from above or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Hip-Hop, but the sound of one man playing a keyboard as Paul Cardall performed his first live concert in two years.

The doctors told Paul that his heart was giving out on him, that he needed a transplant. When they say you need a transplant, they don’t discuss any other options, because there aren’t any. Yes, you can get a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) to help it keep pumping, but that really isn’t an answer. The only true answer is a new heart.

They told Paul Cardall he needed a new heart, and the race began. It is a race, you see. How long can we keep that old heart going? Will it last until a donor heart is found? Because now the clock is in control, and it is constantly ticking away. There is no calling a Time-Out in this game.

Paul actually got The Call – on Christmas Eve, no less – but it wasn’t meant to be. That heart had a problem and the doctors rejected it. So the waiting begins again.

385 days after Paul was first listed for a transplant, The Call came again. Another heart. Another chance. This one looked good and Paul’s faithful old heart was replaced. The final step would be to shock the new organ with a defibrillator, but the organ began to beat on its own. Nonplussed, the surgeon zapped it anyway.

Recovery wasn’t easy; you never look chipper right after surgery. But it was in the hospital that Paul’s friend and record producer came to him with an idea: A concert to celebrate Paul’s second chance. “Let’s celebrate life,” the friend said. “Run with it,” Paul responded.

And run with it he did. One of the first things he did was book Abravanel Hall, THE musical venue in Salt Lake City. No small dreams here, no sir. They also put together a silent auction to fund a scholarship for someone affected by Congenital Heart Disease, and the community responded with some wonderful items.

And then it was showtime. Taking a deep breath to calm the butterflies in his stomach (and the pounding of his new heart,) Paul Cardall walked out on stage for the first time in two years.

And 2700 people came to their feet.

Let’s Celebrate Life!