Posts Tagged ‘Living for Eden’

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:


Words of Wisdom

July 15, 2010

Question: What’s black and white and read all over?

Answer: Paul Cardall’s new book!¬†

Paul Cardall, the award winning musician and Heart Warrior who received a heart transplant in September of 2009 has added “Published Author” to his list of accomplishments! His new book Before my Heart Stops: A Memoir is now available for Pre-Order! Clicking the photo will take you to the order form!

Paul is an inspiration – not only a great musician, but a good writer (Check out his blog, Living for Eden). I had the chance to interview him late last year (Click the “Heart Warrior” link to read the interview) and I learned that Paul is both a Gentleman and a gentle man. Even though I have not read his book – Hey, I had to Pre-Order it just like everyone else – I highly recommend it.

Paul has an amazing story to tell. Pull up a chair, have a seat,  and get ready to hear it.

At the top of the world

June 11, 2010

REMEMBER: Grand Rounds hosted at Adventures of a Funky Heart! on June 15, 2010! Entry Guidelines are HERE.

Paul Cardall felt water on his back as he climbed Mount Olympus just outside of Salt Lake City yesterday. Concerned, he checked his backpack for leaks. Wife Lynnette quickly found the source:

A few yards into Wednesday’s hike, Paul’s commemorative “Celebrate Life” hike T-shirt begins to soak. He checks his backpack for water leaks, but there are none. His wife, Lynnette, touches his back.

“It’s sweat,” she says.

“Sweat,” the professional pianist repeats. “A new thing for me.” – The Salt Lake Tribune

No one thought Paul could do it. Shoot, no one even thought he would be here. Last September Paul Cardall, Husband and Father, was reduced to a shell of a man as his tired overworked heart slowly wound down. Born with Tricuspid Atresia and Transposition of the Great Arteries, his heart defect didn’t care that he was an award-winning musician. It didn’t care that people all over the world were following his story through his blog, Living for Eden. It didn’t care the his wife and young daughter needed him. All it knew was that 1 in 125 people are born with a Congenital Heart Defect. On that day, at that time, and in that place, Paul was the One.

And now it was a race. A game of Beat the Clock with Paul’s heart as the clock. Find a donor heart quickly, get it to the hospital, and our side has a chance. Let the final seconds tick off the clock and – well, no one wanted to think about that. But Paul and Lynnette had sat down and had THE TALK. What happens if…?

The call came – on Christmas Eve! – but that heart had a problem and Paul was left waiting. Then nine months later, another call. This time everything was GO! and the transplant went smoothly. Heart 2.0 even began to beat on its own, not waiting for the electrical jolt that was supposed to start it. Nonplussed, the surgeon zapped it anyway.

Now the race was on again, but this time it was different. Doctors told Paul to expect a two month hospital stay to recover. Paul was out in two weeks.

It was in that hospital that Paul stood and stared at Mt. Olympus and promised that he would climb that mountain. Not one day, not someday, but on June 9. Exactly one year after his brother died, and less than a year after his heart transplant.

His doctors fainted. Well, all but one of them:

Though some of his doctors at Primary Children’s Medical Center had wondered aloud whether Paul could actually make the climb less than a year after the transplant, cardiologist Angela Yetman not only believed he could do it, “she started up the mountain after we did and caught up with us,” he said. – The Deseret News

Someone glanced at their watch when they hit the summit: 1:00 PM. Photographs were taken, a prayer was said, and there were hugs all around. But Paul hadn’t walked the final steps; hadn’t reached the peak. It seems like such a little thing, less than a foot away, but mountain climbers are a pretty insistent bunch. You either reach the peak, or you don’t. There is no almost.

Finally Paul stepped forward and placed his foot on the summit at 1:10 PM… the moment his brother passed.

Paul has a motto, just as I do. He will often say “Let’s Celebrate Life!” That’s your assignment for the weekend – celebrate your life, especially if you have a heart defect. My father grew up in a time when a child born with a Congenital Heart Defect lived a short, painful life. I live in a world where a heart transplant recipient can climb a mountain.

What will the Cardiac Kids of the future see?


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


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!

Celebrate Life! – with Paul Cardall

January 19, 2010

When we last saw Paul Cardall, he was recovering from his recent heart transplant and planning two events: Paul is going to climb Mount Olympus (The one in Utah, not the one in Greece!) but first, the award-winning musician plans to take the stage again! Paul Cardall will be performing at the Celebrate Life! concert planned for February 15, 2010 at Salt lake City’s Abravanel Hall. As part of the concert, the Cardall Family Foundation will award a scholarship to Salt Lake Community College to a deserving student with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) or their family member in the Rocky Mountain area. If you are in the area and would like to apply for the scholarship, you can download the application form HERE; the deadline for applications is February 10. You can also nominate a family affected by Congenital Heart Defects to receive a small financial gift from the Cardall Family Foundation.

I’ll be returning home from the Broken Hearts of the Big Bend Regional CHD Forum, but I’m hoping Funky Heart! readers¬† in Utah are planning to support Paul.

Let’s Celebrate Life!


December 14, 2009

First, a huge THANK YOU to my Nurse Practitioner, Teresa Lyle, who sent me an autographed copy of her new book, Balancing your life with Congenital Heart Disease. It’s not very long but it is a great resource and guide – my father commented “I wish there had been something like this when you were younger.” Once again Teresa, thank you so very much!

Tomorrow, Adventures of a Funky Heart! will feature an interview with Paul Cardall – Award Winning Musician, Husband, Father, and Heart Warrior. Paul is recovering from heart transplant surgery and writes his own blog, Living for Eden. Be sure to stop by and read the interview with this keyboardist who is an inspiration to us all!

He’s Living for Eden

October 15, 2009

First, Paul Cardall is a very talented musician. He can literally make a keyboard do things it was never designed to do, and it all looks effortless and sounds wonderful. But I wonder if he didn’t miss his true calling.

Paul was asked to speak to the organizers of the Children’s Miracle Network (Yeah, the people who organize the telethon every year!) and the text of his presentation is on his blog Living for Eden. Paul hit a home run… no, he hit a Reggie Jackson home run: He tore the cover off the ball; knocked it out of the park!

…I witnessed first hand these kids, these cute little kids in their hospital gowns with IVs, teddy bears, and nurses pulling them around in their wagons to x-ray at 6am each morning. I was deeply affected by the amount of ill children who I saw fighting for their lives...However, in my own experience I could not think of a better place and a kinder group of folks who selflessly serve and accommodate families without much public recognition.

I’m sending you over to Paul’s place to read his speech, and you won’t be disappointed.

I promise;


October 8, 2009

You can’t keep a good man down!

Fellow Heart Warrior Paul Cardall has decided that his Living for Eden blog will live on! He’s feeling really good after his heart transplant, and positive comments from his friends and fans convinced him that it wasn’t time to let Living for Eden go dormant just yet. He plans to be posting once a week!

Slow down, Man!

September 21, 2009

I’m embarrassed!

Paul Cardall has posted on his blog that he has walked for 30 minutesseven days after getting a heart transplant! That’s longer than I walked yesterday! At least I can claim I cut it short because it began to rain on me.

But as Guy Fieri would say, “That is off the hook!”

A little good news/bad news about Paul’s blog, though… the bad news is that he is planning to abandon it, at least temporarily. He’ll leave it online, for anyone in the future who may stumble across it, need a lift, or perhaps be fighting their own battle with the odds stacked against them. Because he has been there, and done that, and has a chest full of scars to prove it.

The mark of a true warrior is the willingness to share their experiences to help others as they fight their wars.

The good news is Paul is abandoning the blog because he feels it is time to turn his attention to other things in his life – his wife and his little girl! The name of his blog is Living for Eden, and I have a feeling that is exactly what he is going to do: Start living for Eden (his daughter). And for his wife. And his music. And living for Paul, too.

Because on June 9, 2010, Paul plans to climb Mount Olympus. Personally, I think he already has.