Michael Doughty

In October 1992, my 42-year-old husband, Michael, suffered a heart attack so severe we found he required a heart transplant. We were told that without a transplant, he would not live to see our 2-1/2 year old daughter and 11-year-old son grow up.

At the time, the average wait for a heart was nine months. For us, it was an agonizing a frightening 2-year wait for the right organ. Still Michael tried to continue on with life. He coached our son’s soccer team her in Sacramento, even though he could barely even walk across the field to sit in his chair.

But, at 2:00 a.m., on a Friday morning in October 1994 we received a call from the Sutter Transplant Team to come to the hospital, it looked as though an organ would be available. The surgery began about 7:30 that morning; at 8:15 a.m. I was told the new heart had begun to beat on its own in my husband’s chest. I’d never received better news!

There are no words to sufficiently thank the family that gave us a second chance. They were (and are) generous, courageous and wonderful. I think of them and thank them everyday. Because of them, my husband has the opportunity to see his children at play, help them learn the ways of the world, and even be the “father of the bride” someday.