Posts Tagged ‘Paul Cardall’

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:


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


Next Year, in Salt Lake City!

March 11, 2010

We’ve got our first 2011 event for our the Funky Heart and Friends tour! It’s our friend Paul Cardall – the Celebrate Life concert was such a success that Paul’s going to do it again! Mark your calender for Valentine’s Day weekend 2011, when Paul will once again be on stage in Salt Lake City, Utah. Obviously, the details have yet be worked out, including the exact date, time, and location of the concert, but he’ll post all that on his blog, Living for Eden.

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!

Living for Eden: Paul Cardall, Tricuspid Atresia

December 15, 2009

Recently I had the chance to interview Paul Cardall, an award-winning musician, (His album Sacred Piano recently hit #5 on the Billboard New Age Album charts) Husband, Father, and fellow Heart Warrior. Like me, Paul has Tricuspid Atresia, (along with Transposition of the Great Arteries) and he recently underwent a successful heart transplant.  I’ve kept you updated on Paul and his need for a transplant here on Funky Heart!, but you can read his entire story over at his blog, Living for Eden.

Funky Heart! readers have heard me describe my heart defect many times, but every defect is different – and its effects are different, from one CHDer to another. When I asked Paul to describe his heart defects in his own terms, he wrote “Before my heart transplant, I was born with what my parents and cardiologist called a half heart. Only half of my heart was functioning. The other half was either missing or not being used. As I grew into adulthood I learned the serious nature and depth of my congenital heart defect. I was living primarily on a single ventricle instead of two. In addition the major vessels that carry and deliver blood from my heart were swapped.”

Paul has had six major heart surgeries – his first surgery was the Potts Shunt, when he was 22 hours old – and what Paul describes as  “various minor surgeries involving pacemakers and leads.” All of his procedures were done at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt lake City, Utah.

People who aren’t familiar with the Cardall family know that Paul’s blog, Living for Eden, is the name of one of his albums. They may miss the double meaning: Eden is Paul and wife Lynnette’s young daughter, and the name reflects Paul’s determination to “live for Eden.” When asked if Eden was old enough to comprehend the meaning of a heart transplant, Paul said “I think so. She prayed her Dad would feel better and get a heart. God answered her prayer. Not all prayers are answered the way we want but for some kind and merciful reason He answered her prayer. Eden is drawing pictures of me with a big red heart on my chest. She understands and what a great lesson it will be for her as she grows older.”

The other member of Paul’s team is his wife, Lynnette. Herself a nurse, Lynnette had no misconceptions about the struggle that her future husband might face: “She understood the burden getting into this. Her own mother died of Cancer, leaving Lynnette’s schoolteacher father with ten children to care for. Lynnette has been through it. She feared it for her own kids but when her Dad asked, `Are you sure you want to marry a guy who might die?’ She replied, `Why not, I love him!’  In my Mormon culture we don’t marry for time – we marry forever. Some of our marriages are cut short in this world because of death but we believe our relationship endures beyond death because Jesus conquered death.”

The call that the Cardall family had been waiting for came a year ago – on Christmas Day 2008, of all days – “We have a heart for you.”

“The first call for a heart came Christmas morning at one AM,” Paul continues. “After putting my 3 yr old daughter Eden to bed Santa Claus visited our home. The phone rang after Santa was finished telling me there was a heart for me. My first thought was, `Wait… I’ve got to enjoy Christmas with my daughter…’ We woke her up in the middle of the night and opened presents. We left her with my sister-in-law and went to the hospital. Retrospective thoughts of nostalgia and hope in the future flooded my mind. My wife and family were not very hopeful and my surgeon said, `There’s a good chance you won’t make it… if you do we’ll need to go back in several times to stop the bleeding.'”

“We were discouraged but had hope. After saying good-bye and lying on the operating table with some sedative I was told the heart was not good enough because of an overlooked aneurysm. Needless to say, I was relieved.  I knew we’d have another opportunity.”

With no heart available after all, Paul was sent home. Waiting there was Eden… with the Fisher Price Medical Kit that Santa had brought her. Like any good doctor-in-training, she checked Paul’s heart and gave him a “shot”.

“I went home with a renewed purpose and found happiness in reaching out to others with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) via my blog. I knew the call would come. Prior to Christmas I was focused on my self and my situation, [but] after Christmas I lost myself in the lives of other people. When the final call came the day before my transplant everything felt right. I believe timing is everything. It was time and I knew I’d survive. My family was also in the right frame of mind and comforted by God’s love.”

Hello to all our much loved friends. This is Paul’s wife Lynnette posting from Paul’s ICU room. We are deeply grateful and thrilled to share with you that Paul has received his NEW HEART!!!! – Living for Eden blog entry for September 10, 2009

I have seen a Transplant patient up and walking the day after their procedure so I asked Paul how long after the transplant was it before he felt better. (“Better” being a relative term; having your chest sliced open hurts!)

“Immediately!” He said. “Although I had multiple tubes running in and out of me I was alive and felt invigorated. I could feel blood flowing in my body and a sensation in my fingertips. My Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE) was corrected after a couple of weeks. I was home in two weeks and hiking in three. Needless to say, I feel amazing and highly recommend a transplant for those trying to decide… [Lynnette] is amazed. As a nurse she is a realist and wasn’t confident in my outcome. But, as my wife and the love of my life she believed in my optimism and confidence in my own future. I’m so grateful for her support and friendship. I am a very lucky man.”

With a new heart and energy he’s never had before, Paul’s musical career can now resume. “My first public appearance on February 15 in Salt Lake City will be a concert at prestigious Abravanel Hall with musician friends as we celebrate life. We are giving a scholarship to an adolescent with CHD from a silent auction fund.” Tickets to the concert are available by calling  1-888-451-ARTS (2787) and are also available online.

And after the concert? Paul plans to climb Mount Olympus (the one in Utah, not Greece) on June 9, 2010.

And after that?

“Life,” Paul responds, a simple one word statement that carries so much meaning. “Creating memories.  When you have second chance at life all that matters is each other and making sure we spend enough quality and quantity time together. In the end, your family is all you got.  Also, I’d like to have opportunities of sharing my story with those who need to be uplifted and inspired, as well as educating the general public of the growing concern of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD).”


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!