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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:



Racing Against Time: Surviving an Organ Transplant and Living a Healthy Life

Racing Against Time: Surviving an Organ Transplant and Living a Healthy Life

by Anthony Anjoubault (1995) Liver transplant success story with advice for healthy living

Raising Lazarus

Raising Lazarus

by Robert Pensack, MD and Dwight Williams (1994) Heart transplant life story of child born with cardiac issues and wanting to become a doctor

Ready, Set, Wait... Help for a Life on Hold

Ready, Set, Wait... Help for a Life on Hold

by Karen Barber (1996) With humor she describes life on hold and how to find solace through fellowship, friendship, and partnership

Recovering at Home with a Heart Condition

Recovering at Home with a Heart Condition

by Florence Weiner, Mathew H.M. Lee, MD (1994) (a practical guide to daily living recovering from a heart condition

Rediscovering My Inner Bitch

Rediscovering My Inner Bitch

by Arlene C. Swirsky (2007) A woman's journey through being "Diced, Spliced, and Transplanted" with a kidney

Remarkable Recovery: My story of my heart transplant journey

Remarkable Recovery: My story of my heart transplant journey

by Leslie S. Anderson (2013) Autobiography of faith & trust in God during 15 years of heart failure, and finally a heart transplant in 2009

Resilience: Faith,Focus,and Triumph

Resilience: Faith,Focus,and Triumph

by Alonzo Mouring & Dan Wetzel (2008) Inspirational memoir by the NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, and kidney transplant survivor

Rudy Gets a Transplant

Rudy Gets a Transplant

by Stacy Raye Waibel (2008) A 28 page illustrated soft cover children's book about kidney transplant and living donation - part of a series: Rudy's Little World - note: Rudy is a poodle

Rudy's Check Up

Rudy's Check Up

by Stacy Raye Waibel (2009) a 30 page illustrated soft cover children's book about a doctor's visit post kidney transplant - part of a series: Rudy's Little World - note: Rudy is a poodle

Rudy's Incredible Kidney Machine

Rudy's Incredible Kidney Machine

by Stacy Raye Waibel (2011) A 32 page illustrated hard cover children's book about dialysis and kidney transplant - part of a series: Rudy's Little World - note: Rudy is a poodle

Searching for David's Heart

Searching for David's Heart

by Cherie Bennett (1998) Teen reader book; Christmas story about teens searching for brother's heart recipient, used as basis for a movie of same title

Second Chances: Receiving the Gift of Life

Second Chances: Receiving the Gift of Life

by Jeffrey R. Lueders (2000) Personal heart transplant story, along with collection of donor family and other recipients' stories

Second Wind: Oral Histories of Lung Transplant Survivors

Second Wind: Oral Histories of Lung Transplant Survivors

by Mary Jo Festle (2012) Excerpts from oral history interviews reveal the physical and psychological challenges of deciding to pursue a transplant, waiting for a donor organ, and adapting to a new life with a lung from someone who died

Seeds of Doubt

Seeds of Doubt

by Alan Gazzaniga (2006) Mystery novel involving uncovering an illegal organ transplant ring

Seven Letters that Saved My Life

Seven Letters that Saved My Life

by Dottie Lessard (2010) Inspirational writing by a two-time organ transplant recipient, mother, writer, personal empowerment coach, motivational speaker and professional athlete

Shift Your Fate: Life-Changing Wisdom for Proactive Kidney Patients

Shift Your Fate: Life-Changing Wisdom for Proactive Kidney Patients

by Lisa Simon (2012) Strong advocacy for actively promoting your personal need for a living kidney donor with planning resources based on author's experiences

Sick Girl

Sick Girl

by Amy Silverstein (Oct 2007) True life account of 19 year heart transplant survivor, Amy Silverstein.

Sick Girl Speaks

Sick Girl Speaks

by Tiffany Christensen (2007) CF patient with double lung transplant shares insights into navigating the medical maze

Some Hearts Have Wings: A True Story of one family's Gift of Life

Some Hearts Have Wings: A True Story of one family's Gift of Life

by Lisa McHenry This book takes us through a six-year period of her father’s struggle with heart failure, and eventual heart transplant

Somewhere Between Life and Death

Somewhere Between Life and Death

by Lurlene McDaniel (1991)a novel involving teen dealing with a sister's acceptance of brain death and organ donation of her sibling

Still Me

Still Me

by Christopher Reeve (1998) This is the determined, passionate story of one man, a gifted actor and star, and how he and his family came to grips with the kind of devastating, unexplainable shock that fate can bring to any of us.

Stories From Her Journey

Stories From Her Journey

by Liz Maxwell This is a book about living life to its fullest despite an interruption for a life saving transplant. In this collection of writings by Liz Maxwell, we find just four insightful reflections about facing and later receiving a liver recipient.

Stories of the Heart: Reflections on the Heart Transplant Journey

Stories of the Heart: Reflections on the Heart Transplant Journey

by Nancy Siemers (1999) Collection of powerful stories told by 50 persons who have been through the heart transplant experience

Sue Lockwood: Accepting the Challenge

Sue Lockwood: Accepting the Challenge

by Gordon Smith (2012) A caregiver's story of his blind/multi-kidney transplant sister's inspiring life story

Surgery of the Soul: Reflections on a Curious Career

Surgery of the Soul: Reflections on a Curious Career

by Joseph E. Murray (2004) - autobiography of the first kidney surgeon.

Surviving Liver Diseases: Life with a Liver Transplant

by M. Ahmed (1999) Told in two parts: 1st, a personal story of survival with a liver transplant, the 2nd, " education about your liver and its life essential role and how to take care of it
Sweet Sour Bitter: A Tale of Friendship, a Transplant and a Lemonade Stand

Sweet Sour Bitter: A Tale of Friendship, a Transplant and a Lemonade Stand

By Janie Whitlock & Lisa Woods Yarnell (2014) about caregiver relationsip between friends awaiting a liver transplant

Swim: A Memoir of Survival

Swim: A Memoir of Survival

by Bill Coon (2009) With heart transplant in 1989 as an infant, this is a story of his heart - and a kidney - 2nd transplant 20 years late

Taking Flight 2: Inspirational Stories of Lung Transplantation

Taking Flight 2: Inspirational Stories of Lung Transplantation

Compiled by Joanne Schum (2011) (166 short stories from recipients of Lung Transplantation – from the entire world!)

Taking Flight: Inspirational Stories of Lung Transplantation

Taking Flight: Inspirational Stories of Lung Transplantation

(2006) compiled by Joanne Schum (250+ short stories from recipients of lung transplants)

Taylor's Gift

Taylor's Gift

By Todd & Tara Storch (2013) (Parent's story of death and donation of their 13 year old daughter's organ after a fatal skiing accident)

The Best He Had to Offer

The Best He Had to Offer

By Cynthia B. Herrick (story of first living kidney transplants between identical twins)

The Climb of My Life

The Climb of My Life

By Laura Evans (1996) (personal account of a miraculous journey from the edge of death to the victory of a lifetime over breast cancer) (not a transplant related book)

The Climb of My Life - Kelly Perkins

The Climb of My Life - Kelly Perkins

By Kelly Perkins (Nov 2007) (inspiring story of heart transplant who climbs mountains to raise awareness)

The Courage of One: The Inspirational Poetry of a Transplant Recipient

The Courage of One: The Inspirational Poetry of a Transplant Recipient

By Joseph Kralicek (2005) (as the title says, beautiful inspirational poetry coming from the heart of a grateful transplant recipient)

The Digital Doctor

The Digital Doctor

Have you ever left a medical appointment thinking your doctor interacted more with her computer screen than you? Health care’s long immunity to computers had been remarkable when compared to other industries, until we entered the 21st Century. Now it too has fallen under the spell that digital technology improves the performance of everything it touches. UCSF’s Chair of the Department of Medicine, Robert Wachter explores the good, bad and repugnant of we patients becoming iPatients in his delightfully entertaining and informative “The Digital Doctor.”  Download Steve Okonek's review below
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The Encore

The Encore

The remarkable true story of acclaimed opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, who received not one but two double lung transplants and went from struggling to draw a single breath to singing at the most prestigious venues in the world
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The first 100 Days After Kidney Transplant Surgery - book 2

The first 100 Days After Kidney Transplant Surgery - book 2

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)

The Gift of Life 2

The Gift of Life 2

Surviving the waiting list and liver transplantation: The inspirational story of one man's triumph over terminal liver disease: A guide for transplant patients and their families by Yomtoob & Wepler (2005)

The Gift That Heals

The Gift That Heals

By Reg Green (Jan 2008) (collection of donor and transplant stories - released also in audio format Dec 2008)

The Heart's Code

The Heart's Code

By Paul Pearsall, Ph.D. (theoretical study of cellular memory using heart transplant stories as anecdotal support)

The Heart: A Novel

The Heart: A Novel

A novel built around the many participants lives in a 24-hour time around a heart donation and transplant.  Bill Gates was cited as recommending this as his 2017 Summer read and I couldn't agree more (from the perspective of this 23 year out heart transplant recipient myself.

The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran

The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran

By Sigrid Fry-Revere (2013) (an account of author's research trip into Iran to study their unique "pay for organ donation" program)

The Last Day of My Life

The Last Day of My Life

(2009) by Jim Moret (TV reporter/anchor reflects on death and in doing so, learns about living a full life)

The Match: Complete Strangers, A Miracle Face Transplant, Two Lives Transformed

The Match: Complete Strangers, A Miracle Face Transplant, Two Lives Transformed

By Susan Whitman Helfgot with Wm. Novak (2010) (the second American face transplant real-life story as told by the donor's widow) (review pending)

The Mysteries Within

The Mysteries Within

By Sherwin B. Nuland, MD (2000) (a surgeon reflects on medical myths)

The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From the Top of the Mountain

The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From the Top of the Mountain

(2012) By Kim Kircher (mountain EMT ski patroler wife uses that passion to share caregiver role for her husband facing life saving liver transplant) (Re4view pending)

The Nicholas Effect

The Nicholas Effect

By Reg Green (1999) (story of Nicholas Green and his death and donation impact on Italy's views and support of organ donation, and then the world)

The Organ Broker: A Novel

The Organ Broker: A Novel

by Stu Strumwasser (2015) is 'a novel' but reading it leaves one wondering if in fact it was based on some real-life characters (hope not). The Organ Broker is the thrilling story of an underground black market organ dealer known as “New York Jack.” For eighteen years Jack has been a “transplant tourism director,” sending wealthy Americans and Europeans in need of kidneys and other organs to third world countries where they would buy them from transplant centers on the take. Dowload a full review of the book by liver recipient, Steve Okonek below.
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The Organ Donor Experience: Good Samaritans and the Meaning of Altruism

By Katrina Bramstedt (Oct 2011) (Ethicist study of altruistic organ donors with profiles of 22 living donors) (review pending)

The Power of Two

The Power of Two

By Isabel Stenzel Byrnes & Anabel Stenzel (Nov 2007) (inspiring story of twin CF patients and their double lung transplants)

The Puzzle People

The Puzzle People

By Thomas E. Starzel (1993) (memoirs of famous transplant surgeon, Thomas E. Starzl, with reflections on today's challenges in the medical/transplant world)

The Reluctant Donor

The Reluctant Donor

By Suzanne Ruff (2010) (life story of a living kidney donor to her sister, facing fear and doubts in the process).

The Soul of Medicine

The Soul of Medicine

By Sherwin B. Nuland (2009) (a collection of tales from doctors of many different medical areas in answer to the question: "who was your most memorable patient")

The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart

The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart

By Stephen Amidon and Thomas Amidon, MD (2011) (an account of the different ways we have thought about the heart).

The Surgeons

The Surgeons

By Charles R. Morris (Oct 2007) (real-life day to day story of life in Columbia-Presbyterian Cardiac unit by a news reporter)

The Survivor, The Hero, The Angel, A mother's story - one decade

The Survivor, The Hero, The Angel, A mother's story - one decade

by MaryAnn Raccosta (2012) (true ten year story of family dealing with two infant boys disgnosed with a very rare liver disease - biliary atresia - and within months, an astonishingly rare metabolic disease, TPD)
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The Transplant Web (Novel)

The Transplant Web (Novel)

Time and routine blunt none of the grief and hope and challenge of the transplant web for every organ recipient, for each donor family and for all the cool professionals who serve it. After medical school at the University of Minnesota and surgical training at the Mayo Clinic, S.R.Maxeiner, Jr. completed his years in the US Navy with the US Marines in Korea. He founded Surgical Consultants, a surgical practice in Minneapolis, which still serves today. On retirement, Bob and Tricia moved to Sanibel, FL, where he continues to write fiction and drama.(2016)
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The Truth About Transplants

The Truth About Transplants

Author Paulette Pratt adds this book to the Gift of Life series published by the British Organ Donor Society Validated by experts, this insightful introduction to transplantation should prove a valuable resource not only for those personally involved as patients, families or friends but also for junior medical and nursing staff and others in training. It charts the history of transplantation from its perilous beginnings through to the present day, when replacement of failing organs is commonplace. It tackles also the problem of organ supply and the sensitive issues surrounding organ donation. A continuing dilemma is that, while most people are wholeheartedly in favour of transplantation, there remains a constant shortage of organ donors. The book clarifies the distinction between the two types of cadaver donors: patients suffering brainstem death or those in irreversible cardiac arrest (whose organs must be taken within minutes of death). Increasingly, too, living donors are coming forward to save the lives of relatives or friends. The book traces the recipient experience as it unfolds from pre-op investigations through to the operating theatre and the months and years beyond. The author also explores the search for alternatives to transplantation now increasingly urgent in light of the organ shortfall. (March 2012)

The Uncertain Art

The Uncertain Art

By Sherwin B. Nuland (2008) (reflections on his long life in medicine by this renowned physician and author with a final chapter involving his grief over a patient's death waiting for a heart transplant)

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