September 11, 2001
While lying in a cardiac unit receiving treatment for congestive heart failure, I heard my roommate gasp. I was startled because she was waiting to receive a pacemaker and I thought she was having a heart attack. When I asked what was wrong she pointed to the television. I turned up the volume on my bedside speaker and heard about the first plane that had hit the world trade center. I watched as the rest of the tragedy unfolded. The hospital hallways became strangely quiet as nurses stepped into patient rooms to watch. I fell asleep that night still watching the coverage.
The next day my doctor came in and told me that I would die without a heart transplant. I was 47 years old and had been in good health until the past few months. Later that day I spoke with a psychologist about my own tragic news. Although I was still in shock I told him that the tragedy of the previous day helped me put a little perspective on my situation. I said that the people who lost their lives that day had no idea that September 11th was their last day of life and that although I didn’t know how much time I had left that I did have some time to do the things I wanted.
In November 2001 I was turned down for a heart transplant. Now one year later on September 11, 2002, I still live. When I feel depressed about my condition, I try to remind myself that I am, indeed, fortunate. It is all a matter of… perspective.