Monday, March 5, 2007

Heart 2 Heart

When I was in the hospital 2 1/2 years ago following open heart surgery, I was visited on 2 occasions by volunteers who were in the Heart to Heart Program; a group of "been there, done that" heart patients who, following recovery, visited new patients who had just experienced their cardiac events. My visitors, like me, had gone through coronary bypass surgery. I was feeling lousy, as one might expect, in the days following an emergency triple bypass. But they were there to listen to me and answer any questions I might have. Just by being there, they quietly let me know that there is a lot of life after open heart surgery.

Seven months after my surgery, I completed the volunteer training at Torrance Memorial Medical Center and was accepted as a new Heart-2-Heart volunteer, receiving the badge pictured above to wear on my uniform. I thought of that today as I worked my first shift of the month and visited with 4 patients. I hope they found my visit helpful, just as I found the visits of Nancy and Joe to me in September 2004. I know I am healthier today than I was 20 years ago. And I know I feel just a little bit better each time someone I visits thanks me for taking the time. Medical science has given many of us with cardiac problems a new lease on life. Taking part in Heart-2-Heart is a way to give a little bit back.

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