A monthly story of personal strength and courage. This month's story:
A SECOND CHANCE OF LIFE FOR A NURSE
The Story of Terrie J. Carr
Somewhere a 37-year-old woman lies in a hospital bed, her faith diminishing as quickly as her body. A man sits alone without hope, the deep blue eyes of a 7 year old child peers through a window at children riding their bikes, wishing she could join them.
This was the devastating experience my family had before my heart transplant on January 17, 1993 after being suddenly stricken with end-stage heart failure on January 2, 1993. The very feeling of hopelessness, helplessness and sorrow were reminders of the realization, " my wife and mother's life is shortly ending."
The very thought of living a long life is something that many of us take for granted, while someone faces a challenge to awake every morning and pray for each tomorrow and believe me I prayed continuously. I begged with the Lord to grant me a second chance, allow me to live long enough to see my adopted daughter grown, graduate, get married and have children and grow old with my loving husband. He has granted me part of that request she will be 16 in December, and I am growing older with my husband of which I would not have been able to do without my transplant.
I remained in SICU awaiting that miracle, with severe heaviness in my chest after visiting the emergency room where a Cardiac catherization resulted in Viral Cardiomyopathy and heart function at 9 %. I had been diagnosed with a heart defect Idiopathic Hypertropic Subaortic Stenosis when I was 17 years old and resulted in a Myomectomy at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY with Dr. Allan Lansing. When I was diagnosed in January as having end-stage heart failure my first phone I called Dr. Lansing. I wanted to go back to him for the transplant. He advised me to stay where I was because University Of Cincinnati Hospital had the best program and gets hearts faster. The only reason the Doctors f gave for Viral Cardiomyopathy was that I had Pneumonia in October as well as a severe fall. The doctors feel that those two incidents not treated properly resulted in heart failure. They reassured me it had nothing to do with the IHSS diagnosis and surgery at 17.
After receiving my new heart I have had a good quality of life of which I am very thankful. Since transplant, I started a support group, Change of Heart Inc., been involved in the development of a website www.changeofheartsupport.org And monthly newsletter. I schedule educational speakers including those from Fujisawa for meetings, organize annual Picnic and Christmas Dinner. The support group is heart transplant recipients who we educate, inform and support before transplant. We have fundraisers to help those in need of medications, utilities, medical supplies, and transportation after transplant. I volunteer as secretary, trustee, task force and newsletter-website editor for this group.
Since my transplant I have been able to spend more time with my mentally challenged daughter with special needs at school, social outings, and peer interactions. I have chaperoned proms, dances, and homecomings. I actively promote and volunteer with the School and Special Olympics in promoting the fact mentally challenged can succeed. I volunteer with LIFE Center, Organ Donation Procurement Center in Cincinnati, Ohio with fund-raisers, speaker engagements to promote organ donation awareness.
I returned back to work part-time two years after my transplant after being told by the transplant director, to give up my direct patient care-nursing career after 21 years. I remained in the medical field, conducted medical review auditing, administered immunizations, school clinic aide, and currently work part-time for Radiant Research as a Pharmaceutical Patient Research Screening Coordinator. I enjoy life with a different outlook, I live each day to it's fullest. I spend more time with family and friends enjoying camping, riding motorcycles, and Special Olympics. I have been on two Bahamas cruises, celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. After just 9 years as Secretary-trustee, Co-Founder and newsletter editor I am sad but rejoiced to report that my family and my self are moving back home to our hometown after being gone for 21 Years to Owensboro, Ky. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of you as your officer and being a large part Of Change of Heart's existence. My family would like to wish each and every one of you of peace, health and happiness.
There is hope, however, for those with little hope that is an individual declares his wish to make and anatomical gift upon death, and his family carries out that wish. The good news is another person like me is given that second chance of life and it is up to me as to the quality of life thereafter. I thank my donor family each day for the wonderful decision they made in fulfilling my donor's wishes to donate their loved ones organs and allow me that second chance of life.
" Don't take your Organs To Heaven, Heaven knows we need Them Here."Terrie J. Carr
Heart Transplant 1/17/93 #139
SECOND CHANCES: Receiving the Gift of Life -Read about R. Lueders inspirational new book on how faith helped him through his illness and recovery.
A Story Of Faith, Love, And Inspiration -The Story of Jeff Piper
SKEETER PAYNE HAS HEART -The Story of Skeeter Payne
A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE -The Story of Charles Eaton
THE PERSONAL LIFE OF A NURSE -The Story of Margaret Schnieder
VISITED BY ANGELS -The Story of Our Chaplain Bro. Vernon Hornsby
BEATING THE ODDS AGAIN AND AGAIN -The Story of Debbie Tunnacliffe
MAKING THE MOST OF 2ND CHANCE AT LIFE -The story of Ron McKenney
LIFE IS NEW AND LIFE IS GOOD -The story of Roy Laney
A GIFT FROM THE HEART -The story of Jack Stranko
A SECOND CHANCE OF LIFE FOR A NURSE -The Story of Terrie J. Carr
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