November 13, 2009

Regret turns into heart-felt relief

By Kelley Luckstein

About 20 months ago, I wrote here expressing great regret that, despite severe heart troubles, I couldn't be placed onlacy-banks the national heart transplant list. Other health problems -- prostate cancer and a brain tumor -- had disqualified me…


Doctors at the Mayo Clinic have added my name to the national list of 4,000 patients now eligible to receive a heart transplant. Next week, I'll check into Mayo, one of the world's premier hospitals, to undergo additional treatment in preparation for receiving a new heart…


Now that I'm on the list, I am on an around-the-clock standby alert. I have to be ready to be on the operating table within four hours once a compatible heart becomes available. The fact that Chicago is 331 miles from Mayo, in Rochester, Minn., complicates things since I don't have my own charter jet. But the Mayo Med Air charter service could assist me if a commercial flight can't get me there quickly enough…


I'm considering switching to Northwestern. But the fact Mayo offered me that opportunity first makes me feel more obligated to Mayo, which performs more than 1,000 assorted transplants a year.


Chicago Sun-Times by Lacy Banks, 11/13/09

Tags: Cancer, heart transplant, pancreatic cancer, Transplant

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