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Transplant Books & Book Reviews

"Wow, what a great source of information and inspiration. I've already purchased four of the books highlighted here and now recommend this TRIO resource to my nursing friends..."

- Comments from a transplant nurse in Omaha, NE

Note: as of August 2012, this entire collection of over 150 transplant related books, many autographed by the authors and most with reviews, have been moved to the Gift of Life Donor Program's new Family House library (Philadelphia, PA) to be available for families and patients visiting there.

Introduction

These book reviews reflect the opinions and writings of Jim Gleason, heart transplant recipient, author and book reviewer, and do not represent the views of TRIO or any of its members. If you are an author of a transplant related book and would like to submit your book for review consideration, send an e-mail request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I promise you a prompt reply.

Keep in mind that typically it takes some extreme experience to have a story worth writing a book about, so what you read in these books, while factual and real-life, should not be taken as "typical" transplant experiences. Every patient will have their own unique transplant challenges and outcomes. Read them for the inspiration they offer us all in how the human spirit can deal with life's "adventures" and then go off to write your own "real-life" story.

Click on the Download File button with each book image below to read the full PDF review (not all have reviews to download and some are in progress of being written.) or others link to a web site for that book.

THE BOOKS:



150+ transplant book links/index

A full alphabetical index/list of the all the books with links for easy browsing or printing is available here

30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans

30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans

(2011) by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D. (collection of wisdom about living life based on interviews by prominent sociologist)

A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

by Claire Sylvia with Wm Novak (1997) (Claire Sylvia's heart/lung transplant story and her post transplant change of personality traits experience)

A Gift for Ron: Friendship and Sacrifice On and Off the Gridiron

A Gift for Ron: Friendship and Sacrifice On and Off the Gridiron

By Everson Walls and Kevin Blackistone (2009) (football sports story about NFL player donating a kidney to help a fellow player).

A Gift from the Heart

A Gift from the Heart

Heart patient shares experiences and support in a free book available on-line and on a data CD - read the book here or send request for the CD to Gleasonjim@aol.com with your mailing address

A Little Girl's Gift

A Little Girl's Gift

By Lawrence Elliot (2011 special 50th anniversary edition) (true story of Janis Babson, dying of Leukemia, inspired others by donating the gift of her corneas in 1961)

A Matter of Heart: One Woman's Triumph Over Breast Cancer and a Heart Transplant

A Matter of Heart: One Woman's Triumph Over Breast Cancer and a Heart Transplant

By Nancy Shank Peddler (1998) (Personal inspiring story of breast cancer survivor after heart transplant)

A New Heart for Christmas

A New Heart for Christmas

A Christmas pageant script and music about "one small child, one big miracle" waiting for a heart transplant that finally comes at Christmas
A Physician’s Journey with the Hepatitus C Virus: Historical, Medical and Ethical Reflections

A Physician’s Journey with the Hepatitus C Virus: Historical, Medical and Ethical Reflections

by Antal E. Sólyom (2015) Tracing the life of its author, a physician, scientist, psychiatrist, and bioethicist, from an early childhood experience of a liver failure induced coma through his long and successful career in medicine treating patients and himself through a complex series of medical challenges (Hep C). (see full review on Amazon with link below)

A Sister's Love

A Sister's Love

By Claudia Rose Novak (2010) A caregivers story of helping her sister through liver transplant.

A Transplant for Katy

A Transplant for Katy

By Luis Fabregas (2012) (reporter's story of a college student who underwent a liver transplant at UPMC serves as cautionary tale for people to learn more about the procedure and the motives of some surgeons).

Adam's Journey

Adam's Journey

By Margaret M. McCarthy (2012) (rare mitochondrial disease, one family's search for a miracle)

After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness

After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness

By Julian Seifter, M.D. (2010) (a doctor who is also a patient, shares his lessons learned both in his kidney practice and his own life as a patient with diabetes)

All About Kidney Transplant - book 1

All About Kidney Transplant - book 1

Transplant care can be a very complex task for most patients. The survival of the transplanted organ and the patient is related to medication adherence, complications rate etc. These variables are directly influenced by education of providers and patients.  A successful transplant improves the quality of life and is the most cost effective way to treat ESRD.  With the help of many colleagues around of the country I prepared two ebooks which would assist patients/caregivers in their difficult journey:  Book1- is a comprehensive tool for people at any stage of their transplant. It covers transplant course from the day they receive the allograft, hot topics, frequently asked  questions, and living donor education. (<-- click to link)

Anatomy of an Illness

Anatomy of an Illness

By Norman Cousins (reflections on healing and regeneration as perceived by the patient)

And Then I Saw a Rainbow: The Journey of a Dialysis Patient

And Then I Saw a Rainbow: The Journey of a Dialysis Patient

By Carole Imber Soloff (2011) (not just her own story but a shared story of many from dialysis to transplant, offered to inspire those still undergoing treatment)

Andrew's Gift

Andrew's Gift

By Carl Hoegerl (2011) (donor story with coincidental donor mom and heart recipient doctor stories in a short easy to read book for all ages)

Another Second Chance: God's Story

Another Second Chance: God's Story

By Troy Lewis (2012) (story of a living kidney donation that saved both his and a brother's life).

Before My Heart Stops: A Memoir

Before My Heart Stops: A Memoir

By Paul Cardall (2010) (Born with half a heart, this is the true story of one man's struggle to survive long enough to get a second chance at life with a heart transplant; also a popular musician)

Better

Better

By Atul Gawande (2007) (a surgeon's notes on medical practice performance measurement)

Big T.'s Heart's in Me

Big T.'s Heart's in Me

By Valerie M. D'Ortona. Book for children of all ages, designed to promote seat-belt safety and organ donation; based on a true story as told through whimsical animals

Black and White and Red All Over

Black and White and Red All Over

By Martha McNeil Hamilton & Warren Brown (2002) (review pending) (living kidney donation to co-worker of a different race)

Blue Baby

Blue Baby

by Joseph LoGuidice (2014) - a novel of young life (and family) facing long term heart challenges and eventually a heart transplant
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Breathtaking

Breathtaking

By Amber Nicole Metz (CF patient with double lung transplant)

Burned But Not Broken

Burned But Not Broken

By Michael Nolte (extreme burn patient with tissue transplant)

Change of Heart

Change of Heart

By Brian Hartford and Peggy McCardle (heart transplant life story)

Change of Heart

Change of Heart

A novel about prisoner's offer of his heart for victim's daughter's transplant.

Change of Heart

Change of Heart

By Robbie Pittman (2011) Personal account of life before and after heart transplant
Cold Hands, Warm Heart - a novel by Jill Wolfson

Cold Hands, Warm Heart - a novel by Jill Wolfson

(2009) (teen story of friendship and heart transplant)

Coma Life

Coma Life

By Richard S. Darling, D.D.S. (multiple liver transplant patient recalls life during coma)

Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient

Confessions of a Kidney Transplant Recipient

By Mary Wu (life story of two time kidney recipient's life since being diagnosed with kidney disease at age of 4)

Conquering Life's Curves: Baseball, Battles & Beyond

Conquering Life's Curves: Baseball, Battles & Beyond

By Ed Hearn and Gene Frenette (2000) (about the ups and downs of professional baseball playing and ups and downs of kidney disease; of winning, and meeting the challenges in his struggle to overcome the limitations of chronic kidney failure and dialysis)

Coping with an Organ Transplant

Coping with an Organ Transplant

By Elizabeth Parr, Ph.D. and Janet Mize, R.N. (2001) (sound information and meaningful advice from an organ transplant recipient and a transplant nurse)
Dancing with Angels - A Transplant Odyssey

Dancing with Angels - A Transplant Odyssey

By Elizabeth Pratt (2008) (a large collection of 66 short chapter writings about organ donation and transplantation built around the author's own true story)

Diabetes! A Lifetime Of Being Too Sweet

Diabetes! A Lifetime Of Being Too Sweet

One man's lifetime journey dealing with diabetes, dialysis and kidney transplant
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Dying to Live

Dying to Live

By Gaea Shaw (heart transplant patient story of recovery and new life winning medals in swimming)

Dying Was the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me

Dying Was the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me

By William E. Hablitzel, MD (2006) (doctor's collection of dying patients lessons in living)

Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last

Enjoy Every Sandwich: Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last

(2011) by Lee Lispenthal, M. D. (written while dying, a doctor used to helping patients face cancer and death, finds himself without fear when he faces his own mortality - dying of cancer shortly before his book got published)

Even Her Tears Were Yellow

Even Her Tears Were Yellow

As you read this amazing story of human endurance and family loving support, be prepared to come alongside the daily medical care and testing that allowed this young girl to survive with a series of critical illnesses, blessing those around her with inspiration and hope. Despite eventually with liver disease that limited her life to just 21 years, for those years this awesome example of spirit overcoming pain and adversity made for a full life even with that span of fulfilled living. The author, writing lovingly through the recollection and notes of Chelsea’s mother and then his own first hand engagement with that family, we feel the pain, both of patient and family, as he details the medical treatments, often on daily and even an hour by hour basis, detailed down to the dosages and names of the life extending meds. (read the full review in the download below...) Steve Logston grew up in Chester, West Virginia. He and his wife, Joni, now live in Highlandtown, Ohio. He retired, after 35 years of teaching, from Wellsville, Ohio. Steve still enjoys playing music and golfing in his spare time. He and Joni continue to promote organ donation awareness, in honor of Chelsea.
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Every Second Counts

Every Second Counts

By Donald McRae (2006) (story of first human heart transplant, historical narrative)

Field Notes on the Compassionate Life

Field Notes on the Compassionate Life

By Marc Ian Barasch (research book on human compassion with a few examples from organ donation)

Fighting for Life: The story of a courageous pro-life Democrat whose own brush with death made medical history

Fighting for Life: The story of a courageous pro-life Democrat whose own brush with death made medical history

By Robert P. Casey (1996) (true life story of Pennsylvania Governors life saving and history making heart/liver transplant in 1993)

Final Exam

Final Exam

By Pauline Chen (liver transplant surgeon shares own experiences through medical training and later as a practicing surgeon with death and dying)

First Do No Harm

First Do No Harm

By former NY Times correspondent, Lisa Belkin (1993) (dramatic story of real doctors and patients making impossible choices at a big city hospital)

For My Donor: 20 years and counting

For My Donor: 20 years and counting

by Mark Watson (2014)  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a heart transplant? Would you still be the same person as before or would you become more like the donor that gave you your new heart? For My Donor follows one patients journey to understand if they have taken on any of the characteristics of their organ donor, and to finally meet the family that gave the 'gift of life'. Over the course of a year, Mark investigates some of the stories that seem to suggest that transplanted organs can really store memories, a theory called 'cellular memory'. Slowly becoming more and more obsessed by his own donor, life starts to become more of a struggle until the final, emotional meeting with a family is played out. Does 'cellular memory' really exist and what does it mean for organ transplantation? For My Donor reveals all. Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle   Show more Show less  

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

By Alexander McCall Smith (novel involving heart transplant)

Gifted: An Extraordinary Journey Through Illness and Liver transplantation

Gifted: An Extraordinary Journey Through Illness and Liver transplantation

by Dan Bonner (2011) sharing his inspiring life story of dealing with ulcerative colitis, liver disease, leading to his liver transplant in 2005

Giving Life

Giving Life

By Tom Falsey (2008) (collection of donor and transplant stories)

Glamour Interrupted

Glamour Interrupted

(2008) (Humorous, true to life journey through pre-transplant, transplant, and after transplant care based on two kidney transplants)

God Spare Life

God Spare Life

by Dr Claudia Lynn Thomas (transplant surgeon's own kidney transplant story)

Gracyn's Song: A Journey from Facing Crisis to Finding Hope

Gracyn's Song: A Journey from Facing Crisis to Finding Hope

By Kris & Gracyn DenBesten (2010) (9 year old heart transplant finds joy in Christian song and hope)

Great Medical Discoveries - Heart Transplant

Great Medical Discoveries - Heart Transplant

by Nancy Hoffman (2003) (story of heart transplantation through pioneering surgeons and courageous patients -from the first operation on a beating human heart to the reality of the artificial heart, the rapid progression of cardiac surgery and the ethical issues that arise with each new development are discussed)

Hanging by a String

Hanging by a String

By Marilyn Gibson (lupus patient leads to kidney transplant through living donation)

Have Heart: David Eckstein

Have Heart: David Eckstein

By David Eckstein, Greg Brown (2006) (Story of baseball hero/"good guy" from family of kidney donors and failing kidneys)

Healing and the Mind

Healing and the Mind

By Bill Moyers (1993) (through interviews with world-renowned experts and laypeople, this work explores the mind-body connection from many angles)

Healing and the Mind (Copy)

Healing and the Mind (Copy)

By Bill Moyers (1993) (through interviews with world-renowned experts and laypeople, this work explores the mind-body connection from many angles)

Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon

Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon

by Kathy E. Magliato, MD (2010) Autobiography of the life and career of a female heart surgeon in a male dominated world of cardiac surgeons

Heart for the Game: The Incredible Saga of Simon Keith

Heart for the Game: The Incredible Saga of Simon Keith

by Simon Keith (2012) (remarkable story of one of the longest living heart transplant recipients - 1986 - and one of the first to have ever played professional sports after a transplant, now working as the COO of the Nevada Donor program

Heart of Iron: My Journey from Transplant Patient to Ironman Triathlete

Heart of Iron: My Journey from Transplant Patient to Ironman Triathlete

by Kyle Garlett (2011) An autobiography of heart transplant recipient moving on to run in the Iron-man triathlon event

Heartfelt, a Journey Through Transplant

Heartfelt, a Journey Through Transplant

by Joseph Panza (2009) A heart transplant love story told from the husband's blog/caregiver side

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