In 2005 I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle. When the diagnosis was made, it was discovered that my heart was functioning at only 11% of its capacity. I received a defibrillator, but knew ultimately I would need a heart transplant to survive.
After months of testing, I was placed on the national waiting list for a transplant. For a year and half I carried a pager with me, praying to be notified that a life-saving heart transplant could be performed.
On March 2, 2007, I received the call I had been waiting for; I was going to receive a transplant. The plane ride to the hospital was full of emotions. I was relieved and thankful that a donor heart was available, but I couldn’t help but think about the family leaving hospital that had just lost a loved one.
I never found out who my donor was, but given the opportunity to meet his or her family, I would hold the hand of my donor’s mother and say thank you. Thank you for giving me hope.