Thankful for Life's Blessings
For Paul P. Fischer, life’s journey has been an up and down experience. Scarlet fever or possibly rheumatic fever during his childhood years damaged his aortic valve. Even with a detected heart murmur, Paul was able to maintain a normal lifestyle and could participate in strenuous physical activity.
In 1993, Paul’s cardiologist advised him to have his aortic valve replaced. Now, Paul had a valve from a donor in place of his damaged one. Paul remembers: “What a blessing! Not only did I receive an extension of time, but it was quality time—no anti-rejection medication or blood thinners required. I was on top of the world.” It was back to a healthy lifestyle at a full physical level.
Endocarditis, a blood infection, slowed Paul down and damaged the valve. A second human valve transplant was performed in 1999. How does Paul feel now? “Since these valve replacements, I have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I appreciate life to a fuller extent. I have enjoyed watching my family grow. Friendships are more important and meaningful. I appreciate things that I once took for granted. My emotions run deep. I’m thankful for my blessings.”
Paul keeps busy. Recently, he wrote a sports humor book, entitled You Know You’re in Trouble When…, a collection of improbable sports scenarios which has been accepted by Barnes & Noble and is available nationally.
Paul’s new-found energy and continued love of life would not have been possible without donors and their families “who must love and care in order to give a gift of love and life. There is no way that I can ever repay these families. My prayers include the unknown persons who donated the heart valves that extended my life. I will be forever grateful for these gifts.”
You have the power to save lives by becoming a registered organ and tissue donor right now or by saying "yes" when renewing your driver license or state ID at the BMV.