What if you could save a life, even in death? What if a part of you could live on and give a new life-a new heartbeat-to another person in need? Organ donation is this ultimate gift of life, and for one man and his family, waiting for this miracle gift would be a lesson in life, faith, and hope.
In Wait until Tuesday, author John M. Garrett shares his compelling story of waiting for a heart transplant while trying not to die. After a series of close calls, John is finally told he needs a heart transplant, but he is made aware of the fate of many awaiting transplantation-that there is a serious shortage of organs, and many die before their gift can arrive. But also a story of never giving up, Wait until Tuesday offers a window into the mind of a man fighting to stay present and strong for both himself and his family. His perseverance and his eventual gift of life would not only give him a second chance, but it would also give the world an advocate for the miracle of organ donation and transplantation.
Even though a great majority of adults are in favor of organ donation and transplantation, only 2 percent of those who die become organ donors due to a fear, health factors, age, and other unknowns. Explore this personal chronicle of one man's gift of life and all the courage, faith, and support it takes to make the miracle of transplantation possible.
I woke up from the operation when I heard Barb speaking to me. Joe had flown to Nashville from New England, where we had contacted him on his vacation. He had arrived as I was in the operating room, and maintained a vigil with Pastor Pearson, Peggy Buchanan, and Barb. Joe and Barb entered the room and saw the numerous pumps and tubes leading into my body. My appearance was frightening, since during the operation, my body had gained over twenty pounds due to the infusion of countless fluids. My face and head were the most distorted, as it took the form of a pumpkin. Barb and Joe were not certain at first that it was their brother and husband lying on the table.
I could not talk, since the breathing apparatus had been inserted in my throat. When I heard them speaking to me, I started to make motions on my chest. They were not sure, at first what I was attempting to do, and thought I was asking for water. They soon realized I was spelling out a message. They started to sound out the letters...G...O...D...I S W I T H M E. The letters were put together...God is with me. What a miracle! I was experiencing something that only a few thousand people had ever experienced...the heart of a stranger beating in my chest.
Several days later, Joe and David went shopping. They went to some malls surrounding Nashville, and returned with a blue t-shirt with a red heart and white lettering. The shirt's lettering said, "I had a change of heart at Vanderbilt on October 9, 1989."
John M. Garrett was forty-five years old when he received his heart transplant, and with his final years in life he dedicated himself to promoting organ donation and transplantation. As a legacy to help make a better world, Wait until Tuesday has been posthumously published by his loving and caring wife, Barbara.
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