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Barry Beddis – Heart Tranplant Recipient (Part 2 of 2)

By Admin | February 18, 2008

Barry Beddis is a security officer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and a long-term heart transplant survivor. Please click here for Part 1 of this two part interview.

Do you know much about your donor?

The only thing I know is that I had seen some paperwork one time by mistake over at Hahnemann. I was doing some investigating with the police background, I discovered that he actually fell down some steps.

I don’t know how old he was at the time just that he had fallen down some steps and ironically enough he was brought to Jefferson Hospital. So they took the heart out and brought it over to Hahnemann.

Have you ever tried to contact the donor’s family?

I written letters – two letters – and I have never heard any response. I did find out that the patient was from a different part of the country.

I am sure they got the letter and they were like alright, “We’re glad something good came out it.” And that was the end of it. I have never heard from them.

Do you care that you never heard back?

Well, I would have liked it. We have a thing called the Second Chance dinner dance once a year with patients and medical staff and all that.

At some of them, like last year, I was sitting at a table with a friend who I had waited for a heart with at Hahnemann. And his donor’s mother was at the table.

It is a very touching ceremony. At one point during the night they bring all the recipients up and all the hospital workers and all the families, you know, it’s just real nice.

Do you ever think about your donor?


And what do you think about?

Well, I believe that God has a plan for everything. So, I believe that obviously he was meant to die for whatever reason. We won’t know until we get up there. And, you know, that it was just meant for me to get it.

What happened to you after the transplan?t How did things go post-op?

I had a pretty easy go, with one exception. The right side of the heart – I don’t know the medical terms – the right side of the heart didn’t kick in right away. Over at Hahnemann you stayed in isolation rooms for the first few days. Well, I was in isolation for the first seven days.

Why? To wait for the right side of the heart to kick in?

Yeah, I was under constant scrutiny. So, they were waiting and you know eventually it did come back.

Are you still on immunosuppressive drugs?

Oh yeah.

What do you take?

Neoral. No prednisone. I took prednisone in the very beginning. I think I was very fortunate. I got off prednisone probably in the first two years. I believe the prednisone did cost me a knee though.

The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the person being interviewed and are not attributable to DailyInterview.com or the editors.

Disclosure: the interviewer is a past employee of Thomas Jefferson University.

Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com

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