Happy [New] Birthday

Happy [New] Birthday

If you don’t think we live in a kick ass, it’s a wonderful life, clam bakin’, Kermit The Frog singin’ totally awesome day and age, then check this out:

About four weeks ago our dear friend (we’ll call him Dave) woke up in the hospital. Dave probably had a brief moment where he wondered where he was and what was going on. The whole thing probably happened so fast, Dave must have felt blitzed.


(Photo: Royal Victoria Hospital)

Maybe Dave remembered the special pager going off. Maybe he remembered calling the hospital and hearing that good news had finally arrived. Maybe it dawned on him all at once that he was now living with a new heart. However it happened, our friend Dave woke up the recipient in a successful heart transplant. Okay, now think about that for a minute . . . what must it feel like to have what was just hours ago someone else’s heart beating inside your chest? The idea is totally amazing.

Dave is just 50 years old, young by heart transplant standards. Dave had a congenital heart problem that, in recent years, was getting steadily worst. Finally the doctors told him that his heart was wearing out and that he needed a transplant. So they put him on the list and the months rolled by. Dave attended group meetings designed to prepare him, body and soul, for the new heart. He waited- we all waited- some prayed, some prepared. Then, one day, his pager went off and he was rushing to the hospital for the immediate transplant.

Now, Dave’s got a new birthday. Many heart transplant recipients consider the day they receive their new hearts their new birthday. (And in a pleasant coincidence, Nick who is co-writing this post with me now shares the same birthday with Dave!)

If you were thinking that there isn’t anything to this Karma thing, you might wan to think again. Our family and friends have talked this over and we can’t think of a single person who might have banked as much Karma as Dave. No kidding, the guy is a hero: always friendly, funny and doing for others. Dave’s the kind of guy who always does the right thing- not just the easy thing. Now, he’s hit the Karma Mega-Lottery payout. “Congratulations Dave here’s your check for a new extended lifetime. Would you like that in one lump sum or monthly payments?” Seriously this guy just stared death in the face and drew an inside straight flush on the river card. Sorry for the metaphors- it’s just so exciting!

So call it a mind-blowing piece of medical science, or call it a Karmic balancing of the books. Call it a miracle or just call it great news. Thanks to some very talented professionals and one individual who was kindhearted enough to check that little box marked “organ donor” (think about THAT next time you renew) our buddy Dave gets to grow old with his family and friends. He gets to see a thousand more sunrises- gets to live life. That’s the ultimate gift.

Well here’s to you Dave. Congrats on the new birthday. May the next 50 be even sweeter. We love you man.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2010 at 1:00 am and is filed under Greater Good, Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Happy [New] Birthday”

  1. Nick Zigler Says:

    June 24th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Love this true story. Go Dave! Go modern medicine!

  2. Sean Rameswaram Says:

    June 24th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for spreading the good word, Ken. Truly one of those life-affirming tales.

  3. 2010.5 Says:

    July 1st, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    […] Ken Zigler: […]