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The Reason To Donate Life - April - March 2023

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

There are times and moments that I put aside my thoughts about audio, video, home theater and accessories. For while those things can bring you temporary and fleeting enjoyment, none compares in the slightest to the Gift of Life itself.

There are times where unfamiliar families become united through both joy and grief. You see, my wife was one of the very fortunate in this world to receive such a gift, a heart.


At one time, my wife Debbie suffered through a genetic heart disease known as HCM. (It is finally getting the attention it truly deserves, the medical condition known as HCM or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. I cannot thank Lisa Salberg and her organization 4HCM.ORG enough for both the care and guidance through all of this including the transplant events.) Eventually, even medical intervention by the Cleveland Clinic could not overcome what had happened over time to her heart and the only option left was a heart transplant. Essentially, for every 10 people who need one, only 1 is so fortunate. My wife is one of the fortunate. Of course, several things occur simultaneously when the time for a transplant occurs, and without any warning. At one end is the hope and dreams of continued life while at the other end there are families saying their good-byes to a loved one. This happens for other organs too but the heart is the cultural-spiritual existence of all living things. Transplant recipients then run the gauntlet of survival (it is not a cure like plugging in a new battery) but an exchange of one set of problems for another and, well, Deb has had quite a share of those. Near death, six times is our current count. But, there's another part too. It is the recognition by the recipient that another's life came to an end to continue theirs. There's a sort of guilt/remorse to it for a family unknown. Now, UNOS, who handles the movement of such organs does provide a narrow path to contact the donor family. However, you must wait one year before you can reach out. It goes through UNOS who knows who. If the donor family declines to respond, that's pretty much the end of communications. It must be this way as some donor families do not wish to relive those painful moments and good-byes. Then, there are magic moments. Debbie was so very fortunate 6 months after her transplant to have the donor family reach out. The conversations began. These past few days Debbie and I were honored to have the mother visit us and spend time in our home. The first meeting at the airport was a powerful moment. You see, Deb now had the heart of her young son who sadly died in a tragic event. While Deb and I celebrated the Gift of Life Thanksgiving Day 2020, at the other end was the closing of a life that day as well. We were blessed to share life together and to experience that moment that no great philosopher had ever considered. We have to blaze new paths on our own. After a few days with us, it came time for her to return home. Then, came the next magic moment. A moment few get to see let alone experience. We shared the moment when the mother's desire was fulfilled to hear her son's heart beat in Debbie. I can not speak for what both emotionally felt and it would be a great injustice to even attempt it. But I am letting you see the moment of their first meeting and a moment when the mother could hear her son's heart. It is, as best as I can describe, a living legacy from her son.

It is moments like these that should help you understand why UNOS has the banner Donate Life and ask people to become organ donors in the event of their pending death for which no amount of medical intervention can overcome. I hope you also now understand why I have a search going for a Dean Exotica guitar which is posted on the Audible Elegance YouTube videos. You see, her son played it and, most unfortunately, someone decided it needed to be stolen. It remains my hope that I can, at least, with your assistance, recover the guitar and return it to her as a part of his life and a token our gratitudes.

In any event, please do consider donating life. It is, in the end, far greater than anything that will ever be done by Audible Elegance. You, alone, can do it.


-Lou

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