Thursday, September 10, 2009

Donate Life

I had planned to write about something else tonight but decided I had something much more important to write about. I have been following Paul Cardall’s blog ( for many months now. Paul Cardall is a 36 year old (husband & father) who was born with severe Congenital Heart Disease (Large ASD, L-Tranposed AO, Single Ventricle, Single A-V Valve, Pulmonary Atresia). At 22 hours old he received the Potts shunt. At age 13 a walnut size blister (endocarditis) of staph was removed from his potts shunt. At 14 yrs, surgeons performed the Fontan and Paul inherited pacemakers. For the last 386 days Paul has been on the transplant waiting list waiting on a new heart.

I checked his blog tonight as I do every day and was beyond thrilled to learn that Paul received his new heart!!!! His wife wrote on their blog that the transplant went very well, much more smoothly than expected. What wonderful news this is for the Cardall family!

Just less than a year ago I knew very little about organ donation. Boy have I learned a lot about this subject in the last year (and still have a lot more to learn)! When my license was up for renewal I agreed to be an organ donor. I even remember the week we found out about Cain’s heart defects Brad immediately signed up to be an organ donor. If you are unsure whether or not you are an organ donor and would like to be; you can learn more about becoming a donor at

Paul Cardell has lived 36 years with a single ventricle heart and tonight he has a 4 chamber perfect heart beating inside of him. What a miracle for Paul and his family. Of course with this miracle comes a loss for the donor family. My prayers go out to both Paul’s family and the donor family.

The following are a few statistics I learned this evening.
  • More than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
  • Every 11 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

I know organ donation is not what most people want to think about. But for us as ‘heart parents’ it’s something that is always in the back (or front) of our minds. Cain will live his life with a single ventricle heart. I pray every day that Cain’s heart will sustain him to live a very long, healthy life and that his heart will never fail him. At the same time I’m happy to know that heart transplants are an option for people who need them.

Again, if you are interested in becoming an organ donor make sure you go to


Kathy said...

Great post, Catherine.

Scott said...

Hi Catherine, I manage campaign outreach up here for Donate Life Illinois and just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful post. It's to great to see others helping call attention to this crucial issue and of course, always great to hear about another successful transplant. We have a couple good heart transplant stories you may enjoy on our YouTube channel -

Thanks again.

p.s. I actually went to school down at Vandy, love Nashville!