The reason I’m alive today is all because someone said ‘yes’ to registering as a donor.
I had a heart attack on April 29, 2014. From there on, my life changed. I had a double bypass but my heart still failed after that. I went to live on an LVAD for four years while I waited to get a heart transplant.
I would sleep with my phone next to my bed just in case. One night, at 3am, the phone rang. I answered it and I thought it was a prank call. It was about 24 hours later when I went into surgery. Within two weeks, I was home with my new heart.
It’s a paradigm shift, your life’s going one direction and then, starting with a heart attack, everything that I ever did before is gone forever. Some of it good, some of it bad.
Once I got that heart, my life went in a different direction for the better. It’s worked out really well.
I am so thankful for my donor.
I’ve written a letter 50 times to the donor family in my mind, it’s such a tremendous gift and it sounds cliche, you can’t put it in words. You want to say the right things. You want to make sure that family understands the ripple effects, because I’m a single dad, I raised my daughter on my own, and now she’s 26. The fact that their gift allowed me to continue my life with my family, it’s overwhelming when you think about it. Every once in a while, it all comes flooding back and I think about how I have a part of another human being inside me and it’s keeping me alive.