A Gift from the Heart

A Sharing of One Man's Heart Transplant Experience

by Jim Gleason

The following are a collection of writings based on the author's personal experiences, along with several inspirational writings he came across while undergoing the heart transplant. It is hoped that they will be of interest to patients who are facing their own medical challenges (heart transplant or otherwise). Medical professionals and caretakers may also benefit from the sharing of the inner emotions of this patient in understanding people they may be dealing with in their own environments. Some nursing training programs around the country have asked if they may use these writings in their program - the answer is a resounding: "Yes!" Finally, there are family and friends of patients undergoing medical challenges. Hopefully these writings will support their own understanding on a typical patient's experience and allow them to support their own loved one more effectively.

Suggestion: If you, as many do, are wondering what to say to your "patient" - wanting to write but not knowing the words to use, may I suggest you write a short note just to say you're thinking of them, and attach ONE of these writings for their reading pleasure. In a couple of day you can do it again (and again, and again . . .) - getting mail was so very special during my hospitalization. Many of these articles share my discoveries in dealing with the daily frustrations and challenges associated with such long term hospitalization, and specifically the uniqueness of receiving someone's heart into your own body! They were written in response to patient requests as I visited the cardiac floor after transplant. They are written as a tribute and thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to be alive and thus able to share these writings. They really are an answer to the deep inside questions that arose after the transplant: "Why am I being given a second life?" I hope you benefit from this testimony.

Table of Contents

Description of Writings




Section 1: A Human Heart Story

Section 2: The Monograph Series

A transplant patient's experiences with...

Section 3: A Potpourri of Support Material

Section 4: Reference Materials