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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:



Hearts Like Mine

Hearts Like Mine

by Merle Zuel (2009) One man's journey through his heart transplant and recovery

Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real

(2010) by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent ( a little boy's true life astounding story of his trip to heaven and back

Hello darlin': Tall (and absolutely true) tales about my life

Hello darlin': Tall (and absolutely true) tales about my life

by Larry Hagman (2001) A entertaining autobiography of "Dallas" TV star who has long served as the US Transplant Games host sharing his liver transplant success

Hit the Ground Running

Hit the Ground Running

An Insider's Guide to Surviving Hep D, Liver Transplant and Beyond by Pam Shuford Murray (2007) A how to be a proactive member of your health team through liver disease and successful transplan

Hope from My Heart

Hope from My Heart

by Richard DeVos (2000) A ten lessons for life from heart transplant recipient and Amway founder, Richard DeVos. After months of waiting for a donor; Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway and nationally renowned business leader, received a heart transplant on June 2, 1997. This life-changing experience spawned a new awareness in DeVos. He imparts the fruit of this awareness in ten motivational lessons for life on subjects like persistence,confidence, respect, accountability, faith, and many more. This book offers readers encouragement and hope based on Rich DeVos's real-life experiences.

How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think

by Jerome Groopman, MD (how doctors come to the diagnosis and how a patient can help them make the correct one

How to Live Between Office Visits

How to Live Between Office Visits

by Bernie Siegel, MD (1993) A guide to life, love and health

How We Die

How We Die

by Sherwin B. Nuland, MD (1995) A medical insights into the body's dying process for major causes of death

How Will They Get That Heart Down Your Throat?

How Will They Get That Heart Down Your Throat?

A Child's View of Transplants by Karen Walton (1997) Tells the story of a kindergarten teacher who underwent a heart transplant in May of 1995, and in so doing provides information about the process of organ donation

Humbled by the Gift of Life, Reflections on Receiving a Lung Transplant

Humbled by the Gift of Life, Reflections on Receiving a Lung Transplant

by Diane Young (2012) A faith based life story of a lung transplant

I Left My Heart at Stanford... but they gave me a new one

I Left My Heart at Stanford... but they gave me a new one

by Don & Mary Coover (2013) Autobiography of a double heart - and a kidney - transplant due to rare Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

I'll Take Tomorrow

I'll Take Tomorrow

by Mary Gahlke/Max Jennings (1985) A Story of a Courageous Woman Who Dared to Subject Herself to a Medical Experiment-The First Successful Heart-Lung Transplant

Irreplaceable

Irreplaceable

by Stephen Lovely (2009) (his first novel, an emotional journey of the heart, relates the story of two Midwestern families after a death and the gift of a life saving heart transplant

It Was Only a Moment Ago: More Stories of Healing and Wisdom Along Life's Journey

It Was Only a Moment Ago: More Stories of Healing and Wisdom Along Life's Journey

by William E. Hablitzel, MSD (2011) A continuation/sequel to his popular book, Dying Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, this doctor/story-teller shares the wisdom that came from listening to his patients

Kelly's People

Kelly's People

by Walter Wager (2002) (a thriller novel about five transplant recipient CIA agents called upon to save the world
Kyla's Kidney Adventure

Kyla's Kidney Adventure

by Kyla Aquina This book explains many transplant related terms in kid-friendly terms. This book can be available through the National Kidney Foundation of Northern California
Larry's Kidney

Larry's Kidney

by Daniel Asa Rose (2009) Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China with My Black Sheep Cousin and His Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant--and Save His Life

Laura's New Heart

Laura's New Heart

by Laura Fine (2004) A spiritual healer's life story of her journey through heart transplant

Letters for Lizzie

Letters for Lizzie

by James O’Donnell (real-life caregiver letters to heart transplant wife

Life in Limbo

Life in Limbo

by Lisa Stiles Nance A caregiver’s side of the story with the patient’s spouse sharing her wait for his heart transplant

Life is a Gift

Life is a Gift

by Bob & Judy Fisher (2008) "inspirations from the soon departed" is a collection of insights from interviews with 104 patients in hospice care i.e., in their final days - not directly transplant related

Life Row

Life Row

by Ed Linz (1997) (a case study of how a family can survive a medical crisis based on author's real life heart transplant life experience

Life Temporarily Interrupted: Her Kidneys Failed;She Didn't Quit

Life Temporarily Interrupted: Her Kidneys Failed;She Didn't Quit

This author is like the Virginia Slims mantra — “You’ve come a long way, baby.” She shares the account of her experiences as a young woman who lost her kidneys to an antibiotic, telling of the challenges and obstacles she faced along the way and of her success over health and having another chance at life. Her story shows that no matter what you are going through, there is someone whose situation is worse and encourages you to NEVER give up. She hopes her story will inspire and give hope to those with kidney disease or failure, on dialysis, awaiting a transplant, or perhaps, recently having received a transplant from a living or nonliving donor, as well as the general reader. Forward by Jim Gleason: Facing kidney disease and kidney transplant is complex and often daunting despite the supportive family, staff and resources available. This book offers an inspiring insight into the author’s life adventure successfully dealing with and living through and beyond her kidney transplant. The challenge will have its ups and downs which she honestly shares, advising up front that each patient’s story is unique, so hopefully the reader’s story will have more of the ups she shares than the downs that are unique to her own story. But keep in mind as you read about much of her missteps that her kidney story takes us back to the early days of transplantation, from being sick in 1970 to her kidney transplant in 1976, forty years ago. There has been much learned and progress made in the four decades since resulting in fewer of the issues she shares from those early days, but the message of survival is still timely today, and that is the power in reading her amazing story. As a heart transplant recipient myself now out 23 years (receiving my ‘new’ heart back in 1994) who has mentored literally hundreds of transplant candidates and later, the same patients now as transplant recipients, I can recognize many of her experiences as being all too common although not together in any one patient’s experience. That’s why she gets to write an interesting and inspiring personal story for who would find the reading of value if it weren’t that complex, meaning ‘interesting’. Take her advice and don’t come away concerned about your own experience having the full array of challenges, but be aware that this isn’t a road for the faint of heart. Take consolation in the fact that hundreds of thousands have gone before you and today lead lives that are too normal to warrant writing a book as the author has. How bad can it be if over 85,000 opt to list and thus ‘get in line’ here in US alone this year of 2017 for the opportunity to receive their kidney transplant, hoping for a return to a healthy life lived with energy and passion. While a transplant isn’t a ‘cure’ it offers the hope of a long fulfilled life and thus the daily challenge of what to do with that gift of life today and the many days, months and hopefully years that follow. In the closing chapters, Patsy too briefly summarizes her life today, sharing the many blessings that have resulted from her donated kidney, built on a strong faith in God’s goodness and her positive outlook so different than throughout her early story years. And of course in living more years with the aging process, as she shares in summary so well, there are other life challenges to deal with, both post-transplant related as well as just general health issues that too often we all have to face if we live long enough. The author includes factual and easy to understand medical education, with her gift of language she uses to great effect. But more importantly, she gifts us through her sharing of personal struggles and survival, the inspiration both families and patients need to face and move past their current issues with that positive outlook that often helps to improve the outcome success we so wish for each day. The author’s life story gives testimony to the value of registering today to be an organ donor after death and/or to be a living donor of a kidney (or donating a partial liver or a single lung) that can be lifesaving or life enhancing to a desperate and suffering fellow human. Come and face your own unique medical challenges with the blessing of not having to undergo all that Patsy has, but with the survival instinct that she shares as a hope for living the life of a true survivor as she has in this beautiful book of life.

Lifelines: the Intimate Experiences of a Transplant Patient and His Family

Lifelines: the Intimate Experiences of a Transplant Patient and His Family

Lifelines: the Intimate Experiences of a Transplant Patient and His Family by Ronald P. Jensh, Ph.D. (2000) (A diary based account of this physician's heart transplant experience with emphasis on relationships of support

Living a Miracle

Living a Miracle

by Randy Sims (2006) A Motivational insights from a CF patient with double lung transplant

Lizzy Gets a New Liver

Lizzy Gets a New Liver

by Lizzy Ribal (8 yr old) (1997) A children's book, spiral bound, illustrated, liver transplant story by recipient who got that liver at age 3-1/2

Love Brought Me Back: a Journey of Loss and Gain

Love Brought Me Back: a Journey of Loss and Gain

by Natalie Cole (with David Ritz) (2010) An autobiography of this celebrity's journey of loss and gain with a kidney transplant in 2009

Medicare for Baby Boomers & Beyond

Medicare for Baby Boomers & Beyond

by Robert Steadman (2009) (a doctor's guide to Medicare for patients facing that life challenge

Molecules of Emotion

Molecules of Emotion

by Candace B. Pert, Ph.D. (1997) (research scientist describes the search for biochemical links in the human body, possibly related to "cellular memory" in the peptides of the transplanted cell

Mommy Can Play Again

Mommy Can Play Again

by TRIO Philadelphia (2011) A downloadable book by children for children of a family facing transplant - true life story with illustrations drawn by the children of transplant families

Moonface

Moonface

A true romance by Angela Balcita (2011) (living kidney donor/recipient love story

Mr. NewHeart

Mr. NewHeart

by David Hollar (early on '91) A heart transplant patient story of hope and faith

Mr. Right and My Left Kidney

Mr. Right and My Left Kidney

by Joan Saltzman A love story of living kidney donation between spouses)

My Brother's Gift

My Brother's Gift

by Linda Selvey Coyle (2008) A donor story as told through the eyes of a sixth grader living through the loss of her older brother
My Child Needs a Transplant, Now What?

My Child Needs a Transplant, Now What?

by Tandy & James Owen (2009) A family sharing of facing their child's liver transplant life challenges with faith and courage

My Favorite American

My Favorite American

by Dennis McCloskey (2008) An inspirational biography of a living donor kidney recipient young woman in Central PA overcoming PKD

My Name is Joe

My Name is Joe

by Richard L. Holloway (2006) A fiction story but based on liver transplant for their 4 year old son

My Pathway to the Light: Overcoming Legal Blindness (2017)

My Pathway to the Light: Overcoming Legal Blindness (2017)

Author: Jane Bradley The author was legally blind before she began a long journey (from 2010 to 2015) that included seven surgeries on her eyes to heal her visual impairment. After she had endured five surgeries, she was given another devastating diagnosis which sent her into a downward spiral of darkness and depression. She describes her journey through those dark days and candidly reveals that she had counseling to help her get back on track. Then she had two more surgeries on her eyes. Today, her vision is greatly improved, and she wants to share her inspirational story with others.
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My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's Keeper

by Jodi Picoult (2004) A novel of family complexities involving a child born to provide bone marrow for her sister with leukemia, legally rebelling when called upon to be a living kidney donor at age 13

Never Say Never: A Life of Challenges

Never Say Never: A Life of Challenges

by Gary Klausner (2011) A survival story of Gary's lifetime fighting CF, saved by a lung transplant in 1998

New Life

New Life

by Bob Violino A collection of transplant stories by TRIO member

New Mountains to Climb: a journey to lung transplant and beyond

New Mountains to Climb: a journey to lung transplant and beyond

a journey to lung transplant and beyond by Jim Carns, single lung transplant, Sept 22, 2013
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New Organs Within Us: Transplants and the Moral Economy

New Organs Within Us: Transplants and the Moral Economy

by Aslihan Sanal (2011) An ethnographic analysis of organ transplantation in Turkey, drawing on the moving stories of kidney-transplant patients and physicians in Istanbul

Nick's New Heart

Nick's New Heart

by Susan May (2008) A pediatric heart transplant family success story

Noncompliant List

Noncompliant List

by Kevin Hopf (2012) A unique story that clearly explains why transplant recipients often experience psychological changes post surgery as well as a brief look into the life of a spiritual seeker

Not So Brave

Not So Brave

by Robert Jaunsen (2009) A novel - based on real life author's daughter - of young girl who overcomes a lifetime of medical challenges with a heart/liver transplant

Nothing to Confess

Nothing to Confess

by Don Hricik MD (2013) A fictional medical mystery based on the story of a single deceased donor who provides organ transplants for seven recipients who in turn face failure and death

Now Caitlin Can

Now Caitlin Can

by Ramona Wood A children's picture book telling story of pediatric kidney transplant

On the List

On the List

by Steve Farber and Harlan Abrahams (2009) The true life story of living kidney donations with detailed description of how the process works and arguments for change in that process

One Perfect Day

One Perfect Day

by Lauraine Snelling (2008) A novel of donor accident and resulting Christmas gifting of a heart

Operation Breathe Easy

Operation Breathe Easy

A child's lung transplant story with beautiful illustraions written by Joan Powers and illustrations by Michelle Candle (2016)
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Or You Can Let Him Go

Or You Can Let Him Go

by Kathryn Seidick A young couple's struggle to give their son a future full of hope despite kidney disease

Organ Farm: Pig-to-Human Transplants: Medical Miracle or Genetic Time Bomb?

Organ Farm: Pig-to-Human Transplants: Medical Miracle or Genetic Time Bomb?

by Jenny Bryan and John Clare (2001) (book to accompany the major TV documentary on this subject

Organ Transplant: The Music of Life

Organ Transplant: The Music of Life

by Caren Mazure Double lung patient account of dealing with life's challenges

Organ Transplants

Organ Transplants

by Robert Finn A medical book supported with collected personal advice/experiences in organ transplant

Organ Transplants: A Survival Guide for the Entire Family

Organ Transplants: A Survival Guide for the Entire Family

by Tina Schwartz (2005) A survival guide for teens living through a parent facing an organ transplant
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OVERCOME: Burned, Blinded, and Blessed

OVERCOME: Burned, Blinded, and Blessed

By Carmen Blandin Tarleton (face transplant recipient shares her  inspiring story)

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence

Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence

by Gail Sheehy (2010) Bestselling author of Passages shares from her personal experience lessons in how to care for a loved on through chronic illness and death

Plain Vanilla with Rainbow Sprinkles

Plain Vanilla with Rainbow Sprinkles

by Tom Kasprzak (2008) A faith filled family story of Mary, living an inspiring life with Down syndrome, who became an organ donor in passing at age 15

Prescriptions for Living

Prescriptions for Living

by Bernie Siegel, MD (1998) Inspirational lessons for a joyful, loving life by this noted heart doctor

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