Heart Transplant

In 1994 my husband had a heart transplant. It was the most amazing thing. He had a near perfect match from an 18 year old young man and he really had no problems with the surgery. He was young and I am sure it helped tremendously with his recovery.

Back then they gave them huge amount of prednisone for infection and antirejection. 100 mg for 5 days (maybe it was more, I just don’t remember) He stayed on it until his sixth year and then they took him off of it. At the end he was taking 10 to 20 mg alternating the dosage every other day. Fortunately they don’t give them prednisone for years anymore. Awful drug. Makes people really crazy. Made him steal shiny things in the hospital like scissors and tweezers.

Problems that he has had later: High blood pressure, depression, plaque in his arteries and kidney failure. Unfortunately when he takes his anti-depression medication it also causes high blood pressure so it’s a catch-22 for him. He had by-pass surgery in Feb. of 2012. He also had a heart attack sometime in the last 5 years, but we don’t really know. And he is currently on the transplant list for a kidney because the antirejection medicine killed his kidneys. He is fortunate because his kidneys just died and he has had the transplant 18 years and average time for kidneys to give out is 7 years on the antirejection medicine.

I have read terrible articles about how people had wished that their loved one never went through a heart transplant. We however have been very grateful. He went back to work and we had many, many years of having a normal life. Our daughters were very young; 9 and 12 and since then both of our daughters have been married and we have two grandchildren. As far as I am concerned even if he would have only lived six months, it still would have been worth it. I honestly believe that it was all meant to be and feel very fortunate that he’s been so healthy all these years!

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