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Heart For The Game [Kindle Edition]

Jason Cole , Simon Keith , Don Yaeger , Steve Nash
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description

Simon Keith is not only one of the longest-living heart transplant recipients, he is also the first to have ever played professional sports after a transplant.

This is his remarkable story.

It is the story of one of the most talented young soccer players in North America, on his way to playing for his country in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Unfortunately, Simon never made that trip. He was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease and given only a few weeks to live.

Then something extraordinary happened.

Perilously close to death, Simon received the gift of a heart donation. Simon was given a second chance, from the most ironic of donors.

Following his heart transplant, not only did Simon return to play professional soccer becoming one of the best players in North America for the second time, he went on to live the life he always dreamed of having. He has lived a rich and glorious life, from professional and personal success, to the joys of family and fatherhood.

More than 25 years after receiving his new heart, Keith reflected on all he gained and decided to seek out the Fields family in an effort to learn more about their son James who died tragically and whose heart still beats within Simon’s chest.

And to thank them for all he received.

Keith’s story is more than simply about the process of getting a transplant. It’s about the will to survive and the lessons learned from friends and family along the way. It’s about never giving up on a dream and persevering through what some people feel can be overwhelming.

The journey ended at the gravesite of James Fields with Keith and James’ father Robert staring at the headstone, reflecting upon the tragedy that allowed Simon to survive. The incredible coincidences in the lives of James and Simon are simply too much for this to be just a story about overcoming the odds. It is a story that will have you believing in so much more.

Their joyous reunion is enough to warm even the hardest soul, and enrich the lives of all who read this incredible, almost unbelievable, true story.

"I have spent my professional career playing against some of the greatest athletes in the world. Each train hard, have a burning desire for their sport and have inevitably overcome some kind of adversity. I have never met an athlete who overcame Simon’s circumstances. To say the odds of playing soccer again were overwhelming doesn’t even begin to explain what he did."
-Steve Nash, two time NBA MVP


Product Details

  • File Size: 386 KB
  • Print Length: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Nexus Publishing, Inc. (May 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0080UDZG8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviews do not do this book justice. February 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I work in the donation field and thought I would give this book a try since Amazon recommended it to me. The reviews seem to focus on the writers extensive references to soccer, well I think that's lame. What is being missed is the life that revolved around his passion that was suddenly ripped from him due to his heart transplant need. This book while yes, it does talk a lot about soccer (because that is his life at the time), is more about the search for a new heart, the changes in himself he found along the way. Learning to treat people differently, finding love and thanking his donor family and making something positive come from his and his donors sacrifices. Transplant donors are absolute heroes and should be revered as such. without them, this man doesn't live, your favorite basketball player never plays again and your family member never gets that bone repaired. I think this was an amazing tribute to this donor and the acknowledgment that this recipient, at first, didn't understand what an amazing gift he was honored with. There are so many recipients that are grateful for their gifts and some that don't realize (like that ACL repair, there was a hero who donated that tendon) what gifts are being given to heal them. I think it was a great tribute that this recipient thanked his donor by writing about it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good lesson September 21, 2012
By DeeDee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the book over a weekend and it is perfect for my daughter who received a heart transplant when she was one year old and is now (12 years later) an avid soccer player. She has started reading the book but I'm sure it will take her longer and there will be parts where she will probably loose interest such as when it gets into the history of N.A. soccer but the story of perseverance and determination is what makes this book and the lesson that I want my daughter to take from it is to not let her transplant define who she is and to not let any one else define her limits.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Heart For The Game September 6, 2012
By Golfer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Didn't live up to its description. Didn't realize it was total autobiography and wouldn't buy it again. Not a good read.
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More About the Author

Simon Keith holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Keith was just 21 when, in July of 1986, he received the heart of a 17 year old boy, who ironically died while playing soccer. Keith, a world class soccer player prior to the operation, was determined to return to "his normal" and after playing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for two seasons, Keith was drafted number 1 overall into the Major Indoor Soccer League just three years after his surgery.

Now one of the longest living organ transplant recipients in the world and most notable professional athletes of his time, Keith travels cross-country captivating audiences with his "moments of truth" speeches and daring people to live.

In 2011, he founded The Simon Keith Foundation, an organization dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness and educating transplant recipients. Keith uses proceeds from his speaking engagements to provide athletic training for other transplant recipients who choose to return to an active and healthy lifestyle.

In addition to Keith's philanthropic efforts, and professional soccer career, he is a successful entrepreneur in Las Vegas, Nevada. More at www.thesimonkeithfoundation.com.

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