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.

A picture of my heart donor.

A picture of my heart donor.

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.


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