Finding My Donor


Late on May 10th , or very early on May 11th 2007 ….. or, maybe even days before ….. someone died an untimely death and I was the TRULY blessed person to receive a donated heart. It was the ULTIMATE gift that a person could ever receive. It was a gift to be cherished every day.

I was given a second chance at life!!!!!!

Daily, I give thanks to God for this gift. Daily, I pray for my donor. Daily, I pray for my donor’s family. Almost 3 years later, I’m still in awe!!!

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.  The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.”  ~Terri Guillemets

I have often wondered about my donor. Who was this person? What were they like? What were their likes and dislikes? Young or old? Family? Values?  Their thoughts?

One quiet summer Sunday morning after deep thought, in regard to my donor, I thought ….. I wondered if I could find this person, who gave me life? I mean, with the internet one can find almost anything. And with my mathematical skills and the use of statistics I could narrow the search down and have an answer in a few minutes.  Now mind you, my state of mind was VERY emotional so I wasn’t exactly thinking about “ethics”.

To find something, you need to have “knowns” …… I knew the date, but what else did I know? I had heard that the transplant center needed to use a jet to pick up my heart and it had a one way range of 2,000 miles. Hmmmmm,( pi X 2,000 squared) is a MASSIVE area. Take this massive area, minus 33% for oceans. Take that number, minus another 30% for a foreign country. That subtotal is still a massive area. Probably 2/3 of the states would be covered.  That won’t work. Dreams or vague references existed in my mind that were confusing at best, that my donor was from the great state of Tenneesse, perhaps Nashville, or maybe Memphis …. but even that is a large land mass and what if he/she actually lived right across the state line, in another state?

What else do we know? The donor would have to be younger. But, if one looks at statistics, there are about 6,800 people per day that pass away in this great country of ours. And, exactly what is “younger”, perhaps under the age of 35?

The donor may have been male or female. Based on my size, the odds are my heart came from a male, but that’s an assumption. Assumptions are not facts so that does not help to narrow the percentages. I believe, but it’s not a fact, that my donor would have to be within 5″ of my 6′-1″ frame, and within 35 pounds of my 185 weight (at that time). Still could be ANYONE from 5′ 8″ tall to 6′ 6″ and from 150 to 220 pounds, or so. That fits half of the country.

I know my blood type, but that is no help. A+ is fairly common and how would you search on blood types? Also, my donor had been exposed to both Hep-B and Hep-C, something else, even though is not common.

And, since not all deaths are not reported via obituaries, what if the information is not even available, on-line?

My mind is running a thousand calculations of land mass divided deaths per day, minus this factor and adding this prorated number. As my mind is crunching numbers, my fingers type….. “Died May 11, 2007” ….. into a search engine and the instantaneous response was 57,000,000 possibilities.

57,000,000 X (6,800*.667) X 6,500,000, multiplied by a factor of 0.25, over 13, + (a/b*z) = OH MY GOD !!!!!

It was at that point that a few tears ran down my cheek. Had I gone too far? At that point, I wasn’t sure but I decided to never attempt this search again. To be truly thankful for this ANONYMOUS gift, all I need is to give thanks daily. If God wants me to know about my donor and donor family, at some point there will be mail in that regard from my Organ Procurement Organization.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Instead, I decided to honor my anonymous donor by making some anonymous donations to, what will remain anonymous groups and organizations. I also continue to pray each and every day for my donor and his/her family.

In retrospect, I found what I was looking for ….. My donor is part man, part woman. My donor is a mixture of all the races in the world. My donor had a bald spot surrounded with black, blonde, red, brown, gray and even some blue hair. My donor was a sharing, caring, loving person that knew the true value of human life …… right up to that last breath.

I live to be the same way.

My donor is my HERO!!!

The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher

My Heart Donor

About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
This entry was posted in General, Heart Transplant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Finding My Donor

  1. Helen says:

    I’ve done the same thing but I haven’t found her yet. I think this is the way it’s going to be for me. I believe when we get to Heaven, all questions are answered and we’ll all meet our donors then.

  2. Kristy says:

    I feel like everything you said in this matches exactly how I feel. I received my heart transplant in 2005 and all they told me was that it was a young adults and I was at the age of 12 so I had no idea what to think, I wrote a letter a few months afterwards and my doctors sent it to their agent but I never heard anything back. It’s been almost six years and after searching everything like you described, all I’ve come to find out is exactly where Is was from. It’s like a never ending question that ponders my mind everyday. But like you said, you must stay thankful 🙂

    • my2ndheartbeat says:

      Kristy, I’ll be writing my 3rd thank you letter to my donor family in the near future. Other recipients have told me to keep writing as many of the families do want to hear from us. We will meet our donors in heaven, I’m sure of that. Be well and God Blress!!

  3. Jessica says:

    When you say, “dreams or vague references of Tennessee”, what exactly do you mean? If you dont mind me asking.

    • my2ndheartbeat says:

      Hi there,

      Excellent question and I don’t mind answering at all. I’ll answer it as clearly as I can. I had been unconscious for the better part of 3 weeks all together. I didn’t know that I needed a new heart and didn’t know I had one. During that period of time, most likely after I received a new heart from my angel donor I had NO idea what was going on. NONE at all. I was hallucinating a LOT from all of the drugs I was given and had taken “trip” to a hospital in Miami FL, and other in New York City, I bought a Hummer, I took a ride on some rich guys helicopter in North Dakota and we were going to honor my dad as a veteran, who passed away 25 years ago. I was hanging out and living next to a bunch of the Cleveland Indians baseball players on an island in Lake Erie. So I was really out of touch with reality.

      However, at some point I either overheard or was told that I had been in Nashville TN, possibly even Vanderbilt University.

      Later, as I regained full, “normal”, consciousness and I was attempting to sort out all of this some family members vaguely remembered something about Nashville, others didn’t. Most had a good time with me, laughing at me, but that vague memory has never faded. The memory was actually re-enforced a few weeks ago when we were going on vacation and changed planes in Nashville and the angels visited me. I wrote about it on Aug 25th – here ~ https://my2ndheartbeat.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/they-came-again/

      Thanks for the great question. Feel free to ask me anything.

      Have a good weekend ~ DAP @ My2ndHeartbeat

  4. Chelsea says:

    My father died on May 10, 2007 in Goodlettsville, TN. Seems to match the person you are looking for I hope it is his heart because it will be great knowing that though he had to die someone else got a chance to live! Maybe hear from you soon?

  5. kirstie smith says:

    Hi. I’m not sure of who u are and I know u don’t know me..a lady contacted me and said u may have my mother’s heart..she passed may 8 2007 in Nashville tn .. I read your article I was truly touched and inspired. I just thought u should know she was my mom

  6. Lillian says:

    I was looking for the recipient of my cousin’s heart. He died in May of 2010. He was a healthy, young man with a family. He did all the right things; never smoked, never drank alcohol, ate well, exercised and was in excellent health. We lost him due to a tragic accident which caused a traumatic head injury that rendered him braindead. He was an organ donor and his body was kept on life support until his organs could be harvested; a nightmare no family should ever go through. He helped a lot of people when he died and he is missed everyday. I can’t find any of the recipients, but I hope the people who received his organs appreciate his gift the way you appreciate your gift. It is comforting to me to read your blog and hear how full of life you are and how truly grateful you are.

    • DAP says:

      Lillie,

      My condolences on the loss of your cousin and I thank your entire family for the gift of life that was given under horrific circumstances. Thank you for your comments. I am forever linked to my donor family. I think of them each day, many times a day. I thank God for this amazing gift that I was given and will ALWAYS be grateful. God bless you and your family!!

  7. Angel says:

    You have the biggest heart for Benny Keith was amazing

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