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Road To Transplant: The Final Mile Paperback – November 22, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
My name is Brian Hayden. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954 into a middle-class, blue-collar, Jewish family. I am the middle child with a brother one year my senior, and a sister two years my junior. In 1961, my family moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I am the second generation, American-born son of Austrian and English grandparents on my father’s side, and Polish and Russian grandparents on my mother’s side. I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1972, and was finally medically discharged in July of 1990. I published my earliest book in 1999, entitled “Using Strategic and Tactical Planning to Make Your Veterinary Practice More Profitable.” During that period, I wrote five scripts for educational videos. Then, in February of 2011, I published my memoir, “Death: Living To Talk About It.” On August 20, 2012, I published my first work of fictional, “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems.” Now, after more than two years in the works, “Road To Transplant,” my sequel to the memoir, is scheduled to be published November 17, 2012. I continue to write both fiction and nonfiction, maintain a weekly blog; recently, I’ve also began construction of a new, all inclusive website. I married a wonderful girl, Denise, in August of 1974, and I’m happy to announce that we are still very much in love. We’ve been happily married for more than thirty-eight years, with two grown children. Our son, Joseph, married and has provided us with three absolutely wonderful grandsons. Our daughter, Angela, also married and has provided us with an additional three terrific step-grandsons. We currently reside in San Antonio, Texas, where we are surrounded by a support team of healthcare providers, family, and wonderful friends.
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As every day is precious when on the verge of death, Brian M. Hayden keeps a diary of sorts through the entries on his blog, which provides a structure and a reference for the Road To Transplant. Some people who suffer through similar health challenges tend to isolate themselves from others, because pain is a hard thing to share. What I find especially endearing is the way he views his journey as not his alone. In his words from the Preface, "We will all throw these balls up in the air, and with help from our friends and family, a little faith, and God's help, we will keep these balls from falling."
This is a truly special book. Five stars.
This book was sent to me gratis for an unbiased review.
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform
Published November 22, 2012
Road To Transplant: The Final Mile
Road To Transplant is the writings of Brian's blog turned into a book. For twenty years he fought to stay alive until the conditions were perfect for his heart transplant. As the years tick by, Brian shows us all that he endures, how his body is sustained by procedures and medications. His wife Denise is always by his side, watching and nursing him, she's a tough lady! I'm amazed by Brian's will, it would have been easier to just let go. All through the telling, Brian gives us advice on how to handle all the dizzying amounts of medical information.
This is a story about HOPE, and a man refusing to give up. I found the story a little dry in places. That might be my fault , I don't normally read this type of story. I am very glad I did read Brian's heart-warming story. This book is a MUST read for everyone with a terminal condition.
I was given this e book for an honest review.
Brian M. Hayden
The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood through the network of arteries and veins comprising your cardiovascular system. With its four chambers the right atrium receives blood from our veins and then pumps it to the right ventricle. The right ventricle receives blood from our right atrium and pumps it to the lungs where it is loaded with oxygen. Next, the left atrium receives this oxygenated blood from the lungs and hopefully pumps it to the left ventricle. The strongest chamber of the our hearts is the left ventricle which pumps the oxygen-rich blood to the rest of our body. It is the left ventricle's vigorous contractions that create our blood pressure. But, what would happen if something within these four chambers did not work? What would happen if your arteries were blocked or clogged? What would happen if everything you have done results in the final outcome when you heart decides it is going to give out and unless you get a new one you life will end? What do you do? How do you cope with knowing that you might not live much longer? Brian Hayden has been through it all and even thought at times that he was not going to make it. But, I guess he beat the odds and is still here to talk and write about what had to be the most dramatic thing to ever happen to him His Heart Transplant. In this all telling no holds barred memoir Road to Transplant the Final Mile author Brian M. Hayden takes on his journey from start to finish
Keeping a detailed journal and allowing readers inside the doctor's offices, hearing the doctor's words and finally the operating room you won't believe what he endured. How do you go about getting a new heart? How do you place yourself on the transplant list and what happens if your insurance won't cover it or some of the tests needed? With the support of his wife Denise and his children he shares his journey and the sequel to "Death: Living to Talk About It."
What exactly is a heart transplant might be the right way to help readers understand what Brian is about to share? "A heart transplant, or a cardiac transplant, is a surgical transplant procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease. As of 2008 the most common procedure was to take a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor (cadaveric allograft) and implant it into the patient. The patient's own heart is either removed (orthotopic procedure) or, less commonly, left in place to support the donor heart (heterotopic procedure); both were controversial solutions to an enduring human ailment. Post-operation survival periods averaged 15 years[...]
We meet Brian as he learns about his problem, is about to begin an exercise program that will strengthen his muscles and limbs. But, when the nurse presents him with the dumbbells it takes someone with a sense of humor and good nature to use them. Won't tell you why because I promised I would keep the weight and color a secret but I am not so sure that many men would have been such a good sport. Next we learn of his frustration with Social Security, which after dealing with Medicare, Medicaid and numerous homecare agencies for my mom I can identify with his frustrations. You are so right Brian as I learned. You never stop yelling, voicing your opinion or stamping your feet until you get what you want. Added in he relates the fact that many patients do not know the right questions to ask their doctors, some refuse to admit they are unsure of what is being said and others remain silent. I have learned that when the situation warrants a major decision to bring some else along so that that person hears what is being said and can talk it out with you during or after the visit. Next, we learn more about his condition until we come to the weekly journal.
The lead in to the journals is quite compelling as Brian shares his inner most thoughts, fears and frustrations. His weight training, his exercise program, the fact that the doctors kept telling him that he was out of time and placed many different expiration dates on him makes you wonder. Sense of humor in tact, tests galore and a family who promises never to read this book; Brian forges on with his blog, his facebook page and this book. Medicare can be difficult. Getting all the tests hard. Finding out whether he qualified for a transplant can be like finding out the surprise ending to a mystery or thriller book hoping the outcome won't be fatal to the main character or in this case Brian.
Living with the knowledge that he was going to die made him fight even harder and I have to agree that HOPE if a powerful word and tool and without his faith in this word he might have made the doctor's and their predictions come true. Will his family, friends, grandchildren and children see the world differently because of Brian and learn from what he went through? Let's hope so. Should they read this book: Most definitely to truly understand what he went through and hope remarkable he is. Just the chapter titles are hilarious and the information as presented is really easy to understand, not the double talk you sometimes get from doctors and the story is well written, keeps reader interest and definitely enlightening.
With a mom who had COPD and congestive heart failure a lot of what Brian relates in this book is quite familiar to me. When relating how COPD interplays with his heart, all of the medications needed, DVT's and Coumadin or Warfarin, which my mom took for over 50 years his story and journey hit home. Lovenox is the drug my niece who is 16 took for quite some time. These shots are quite painful. The next three chapters deal with Making Sense of Heart Transplants and it explains the tests needed the results that he was given and the procedures necessary. Defining heart transplant, heart transplant rejection and what takes place. Followed by ER or Movies! Can't tell you the outcome. You have to learn that for yourself, as mystery is a part of life and some you have to solve and learn for yourself. Brian includes his thoughts about what could go wrong or right and then more about his exercise program, his successes and pitfalls. After all of the disappointments Brian is finally told he is going to get his transplant. Let's find out more.
The hard part is the questions on page 111 and the answers even more. These are the questions that the cardiologist asks himself but what about the patient? Just how does Brian feel? The answers might surprise you in the chapter titled: Finding Peace. Brian continues by explaining and defining some important terms in the chapter titled I LOVE MY LUNGS where he helps this reviewer and readers understand the word emphysema and how serious this illness is and how it relates to his problem and more. The most heartfelt chapter is the one titled: Tears From an Angel: Denise is more than that. As Brian enters a hospice program and the end result just proves he will never give up. Flashbacks follow, more tests and then Brian endures another day and another fight. I have to say most people would have chucked it in way before they even got to the point of having the transplant. This is a story of someone who truly has the strongest love for life, his family and for his friends, which I hope he considers me one. This is an inspirational memoir of a man who never gave up, never gave in to himself and whose sense of humor shines through and who I hope will write a fiction novel for the world to get to know the other side of Brian who is funny, smart and definitely can write.
" Death is Just a Part of Life," Love his philosophy: Life is a part of life! Death is well Dead: No one wants that and Brian has been as he states walking a real tight -tight rope but so far it has not given way. On pages 157- 159 we learn more. Wait until you read A Day in the Life of a Heart Failure Patient. Despair not Change is in the Wind and learning what it is like to live with end stage heart failure. What he relates next will enlighten readers and help others who might be in the same position and to make the same life changing decisions.
Waiting the hardest part and living through the many tests, hospital visits, concerns his family had made the journey even more heart wrenching. As Brian's road to transplant and his journal begins on December 9 and runs through until the end of May you need to read the journal yourself to really understand what he and his family went through, the frustrations, the red tape and more. Tomorrow is promised to no one he states. Fortunately it was to him.
The last five weeks were rough and his home care nurse reported to Dr. Kwan his cardiologist on Brian's decline. Spending time in the hospital before the transplant more meds to hopefully stabilize him until he got his heart was the next course of treatment. Read pages 304- 305 and learn what happens and the true dangers of DVT's. Just what happens and how it turns out I won't tell you as you will have to take the final journey along with Brian into the operating room, wait with Denise for the final outcome and learn what happens when one man fights until he gets what you might say: His Heart's Desire.
Most recent customer reviews
Mr. Hayden shares his experience in waiting for a heart transplant.Read more