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Heart For The Game [Kindle Edition]

Jason Cole , Simon Keith , Don Yaeger , Steve Nash
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
You Save: $11.00 (85%)

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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


Editorial Reviews

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 http://www.thesimonkeithfoundation.com.

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: #422,805 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(13)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring story of the heart played to the fullest August 27, 2013
Format:Paperback
For a transplant recipient, candidate or family of same, there is nothing more inspiring than to read about long term post-transplant survivors living life to the fullest. In Heart for the Game we meet Simon Keith who holds the distinction of being a really LONG term, if not one of the longest survivors - as of this writing 27 years - and going on to be the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Keep in mind, for heart transplants, the mid-eighties were truly still the pioneering days, not like today's many improvements in surgical procedures and variety of effective meds and lower cost generics. So when you meet Keith from those pioneering days, you say "Wow!"

A seventeen year old soccer player died on the field, donating a heart that saved the life of 21 year old Keith, himself a world class soccer player before heart disease had taken him out of the game. With determination and an athletic passion for self-discipline, he fought back to his "normal" playing condition, convincing the coach and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) administration to allow him to play for two seasons in this rough and tumble sport. One can only imagine what it took for them to take on that obvious risk given his heart transplant background, but he convinced them through hard work and perseverance. Based on that performance, just three years out from surgery, Keith is the #1 draft pick in the Major Indoor Soccer League, adjusting his game to a sport very different from his outdoor playing experiences.

He finds himself challenged by the notoriety of being in the professional sports limelight focusing on his heart transplant story, not his outstanding athletic skills.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Moment of Truth - A Formula for Chapionship October 6, 2012
Format:Paperback
"Heart for the Game" is a team effort. Sports reporter Jason Cole collaborates with bestselling author, editor, and business leader Don Yaeger to tell Simon Keith's incredible story.

Simon is one of the longest living heart transplant recipients in the world and the first person to ever come back from a heart transplant to play professional sports, a man who went on to live a full and complete life.

The writer's skillfully capture Simon's "guts and determination" as they describe his perseverance to overcome obstacles, his ability to dream dreams, and to take on personal challenges. He is portrayed as one willing to do whatever it takes to succeed with a "laser focus" on his goals.

In 1986 young Simon Keith was on his way to play in the World Cup in Mexico when he was diagnosed with a fatal heart disease with only a few weeks to live. Simon never gave up his dream but persevered. This is the story of the gift of a heart donation, a second chance at life for Simon, and the lessons he learned throughout his battle to survive.

Simon received the heart of a seventeen year old donor. Twenty-five years later Simon sought out the family of this young donor, the Fields family. He wanted to learn more about their son James and to thank them for their gift. He reflects on this meeting as they gathered at the gravesite of James Fields. This meeting is poignant.

"Heart for the Game" is an important book for the victim of any cardiac condition, their caregivers, and families, soccer players, fans, motivational speakers, and life coaches. Simon Keith's is a story of inspiration, encouragement, and, motivation.

A review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story that everyone needs to read! May 12, 2012
Format:Paperback
I have only just begun to read the book about Simon's compelling life story. The first sentence draws you in to an almost unbelievable story, of a man who's overcome many obstacles that some would not have the strength to. His story is one that will change your perspective on life, having much more appreciation. You don't have to be a soccer player or even a sports enthusiast to be interested in this book. It's just a feel- good story about a man who beat the odds, and lives to tell about it.

In case you didn't read the description, Simon received a heart transplant at a young age in the middle of his soccer career. The young boy who's heart Simon received, was as some would say a " God send" as he too was a soccer player who collapsed during a game. Simon tellls of his journey through life, living with another person's heart ( and most ironically, a soccer players). Simon is now one of just several people to live longer than expected, following a heart transplant.

I am Simon's trainer, I've gotten to know him over the years, and can honestly say that his story has touched me. I've never met anyone with as much strength (both physically and mentally) to do what many would consider the impossible. To play professional soccer after a transplant, to recover so quickly from one, and to still be in better physical condition that many of my clients. He has undoubtably beat the odds.

Read the book!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Stupid May 25, 2012
By Salty
Format:Paperback
Simon refers to the "Power of Stupid" in the book. Translated this means laser focused on completing the short and long term goals that one sets. I have seen this "power" first hand and have watched that drive and determination for the last 25+ years. As I step back and read this I am in awe of the inspirational story. I have never known the full details of this journey from his point of view. Simon, being a private person, has once again exercised the "Power of Stupid" and has shared his story with others. Not only to give us a peak into an extraordinary mindset and attitude but also to let other people know that transplantation does not have to be a limiting situation.
I am beyond proud to say I know this man and I hope you find the book an insightful, inspirational, and sometimes emotional read. I know I did!
P.S. Happy 47th Bday
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviews do not do this book justice.
I work in the donation field and thought I would give this book a try since Amazon recommended it to me. Read more
Published 15 months ago by 419_Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a fantastic story of an amazing man. Some of the soccer stuff was tedious to get through if you are not a soccer fan but Simon Keith's story is so engaging, that you can... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sue H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, inspirational story and worth the read
What an amazing story!

Just when I think I have obstacles that are too tough to overcome, I read Simon Keith's story. Read more
Published on January 15, 2013 by Matthew J. Engle
5.0 out of 5 stars A good lesson
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. Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by DeeDee
1.0 out of 5 stars Heart For The Game
Didn't live up to its description. Didn't realize it was total autobiography and wouldn't buy it again. Not a good read.
Published on September 6, 2012 by Golfer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great uplifting story
You cant call this sports book one of many cliches since Simon's story is certainly unique. He handles his situation with as much grace and dignity as possible despite setbacks,... Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by LSmith
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great story . . .
I highly recommend this book. An easy read and one of the most fascinating and truly unbelievable stories you will ever read. Read more
Published on June 30, 2012 by Mike Whitler
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than soccer...
While soccer was Simon's passion, it is his passion for life that enabled him to overcome the amazing obstacles he has faced. Read more
Published on May 21, 2012 by Trish Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart for the Game
This is a compelling read of a long awaited story. The book is a revelation into the character of Simon and the determination and perserverance he demonstrates daily. Read more
Published on May 20, 2012 by Marc
Search Customer Reviews

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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