A Connection to a Heart
Waiting For My Fate & Guilt
Even before my heart transplant, while I was on the waiting list, I wondered who my heart donor would be. But I knew that if I thought about it for too long, I would eventually cross paths with reality. I knew that in order to survive I would need a new heart and soon. However, this reality always made me realize that my donor would have to face what I was trying to avoid. This eventually lead to a lot of sleepless nights and depression.
The depression did hit me very hard but over the months I looked for help. I went to every heart failure meeting where I got to meet other people who were waiting for a heart and also those who already have a new heart. They helped me greatly in understanding that I shouldn’t feel guilty. I also searched for a psychologist/psychiatrist. Eventually I decided to not seek a psychiatrist because I was already taking a lot of medicine for my heart failure. I eventually found one and he was great at explaining things to me. He eventually made me realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty about anything because there was nothing I could do. He made me focus on something different: to focus on life and making sure that I made the best out of my new gift.
Searching For Answers
Approximately five days after my heart transplant I was visited by a social worker and she started to explain to me that I could write a letter to my heart donor’s family as soon as I wanted to. I waited a couple of weeks until I recovered and I had a more stable mind before I sent my first letter. This began an amazing journey in getting to know my donor family. However, my questions were very limited based on the rules enforced by the transplant center. But things changed just last week.
Last week I received another letter from my transplant family and it included several pictures of my donor. One of them was a picture of her posing for a picture on a green, leafy background but most of them were of her playing softball with her school uniform.
With the picture of the softball uniform I immediately knew what school she attended. With a couple of Google searches I eventually found her whole name written on the school’s senate web page and with her name I found several twitters written on her school’s twitter account. I knew that I could potentially be breaking some rules but I decided to reply to the school’s tweet and later that day one of my donor’s friends reached out to me wondering if I was actually the one who received her friend’s heart. And then later on I received a text from her best friend.
Even though I could potentially be breaking several rules I am glad that I did it because I got to know a little more about my heart donor’s life. It might be meaningless to a lot of people but to me it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. Just knowing a little more about my donor allowed me feel a lot happier. No longer was the origin of my heart a mystery and now I have a true connection to its past life and while doing so I am hoping that it also helped my heart donor’s friends feel a lot better after the unexpected passing that gave no time to say goodbye.