Oct 19th, 2019 – it’s now officially my 25th heart transplant anniversary. I never take for granted each day of life extended in having received that 38-year-old heart back in 1994, 2-1/2 decades ago! How rare that was in terms of longevity was brought home recently when I read the following in a Washington Post magazine article that included these words:
“Heart transplantation is now close to commonplace, with more than 2,000 a year performed in the United States alone. It extends life but is not without problems, still. For reasons that are not yet clear, transplant recipients tend to develop coronary artery disease more rapidly than most people. Transplant survival rates, while vastly better than before, are still not extraordinary. Only half survive for 10 years or more. Fifteen years is considered excellent. Twenty is remarkable. Twenty-five is nearly unheard of.”
Wow, …nearly unheard of! Those words jumped off the page and I have found myself both reflecting on that milestone and sharing those words with many a friend and fellow patient, challenging them with the opportunity to enjoy life themselves for decades as I have, and continue to do so.

Now you too have heard and can join in my amazement of having this daily challenge of how best to make use of this gift of life today, twenty-five times 365 days a year and God willing, many more to come!

To celebrate Roberto’s gift, yesterday Pam and I gave testimony and his story at our church’s Sunday service and then hosted with a delicious homemade luncheon (well, Pam’s homemade lunch at least, all I did was iced 100 small cupcakes with red sprinkles and paper with hearts on each) a Koinonia social time honoring his memory as seen in this photo: