Friday, April 13

The Power of the Heart

How powerful is the human heart? What happened to the recipient after the heart transplant? Will he/she feels the life of the donor or his/her own old life alone?

These questions have been bugging me since I read the book a looonnnggg time ago, Home Again by Kristin Hannah. Here is an excerpt:

Hollywood bad boy, Angel De Marco has everything - talent, looks and fame. Then tragedy strikes, and he winds up in the care of cardiologist Madelaine Hillyard, the woman he had ran out on 16 years before. But it will take more than forgiveness for the betrayals of the past to save Angel

Angel has a brother, Father Francis - obviously a priest, who's the complete opposite of him in attitude even while they were young. Angel, the bad boy - alcoholic, smoker - was prompted by a very bad news, he won't live long unless he'll have a heart transplant. That's when Madelaine, his childhood love and his brother came into the picture again.

Moving forward, Father Francis met an accident on a stormy night when he was going home from a conference. He then became brain dead. And his heart was transplanted to Angel, of course with out the latter's knowing. There is this strict confidentiality regulation.

After the transplant, Angel became a different person. In some ways, he was living his own old life as well as Father Francis'. The story has a happy, melodramatic ending.

The story is too good to be true, but yeah, still a fiction, hence the questions in my mind.

Recently, I watched a telly program about heart transplant.

It was said that 10% of the recipient in a heart transplant feel the lives or part of it of their donors. The donor's heart passed on the talent, feeling, memories and tastes to the new owner of the heart.

Skeptics said, these events were just coincidences. After all, the human heart is a huge genetic organ that communicates to the brain and it is the reason why recipients are feeling the lives of their donors. The heart can't generate ideas or memories but is only capable of pumping blood. It is believed that these are just psychological effects.

On the other hand, some geniuses believed that the human heart is capable of storing memories and ideas. There is the question now of where our memory resides? It is distributed throughout the nervous system and the heart is part of that system. One doctor conducted a study and research and found out that the heart has neurons which is the little brain of the heart.

The heart stop pumping right after it was removed from the donor's body, it is then cooled and can stay alive up to 4 hours. It will just resume pumping blood once it is attached to the body of the recipient. The compelling question is, how then the heart knew that it will pump blood once it is attached to the human body? How will it remember that it is its function? One can say that it has its own intelligence. One can argue that, as well!

I can't say that I now know the answer. I only will if I happen to be a recipient, which I never wish to happen. But I am sort of clarified.

At the end of the day, it is not the donor that will be blame or be honored for whatever the recipient did after the transplant. The heart may not be his/hers but he still has the control over his/her actions. But wouldn't it be a happy and new beginning if the recipient ditch his/her old bad self, if there is, and live the good side of the donor?


lady cess said...

ay, may napapanood nga akong ganyan, parang you get the personality/strengths/weaknesses, et al ng original na may-ari. hmm... ano nga kaya no?

Princess of CJ said...

hi cess! nakakatakot na exciting kung ikaw isa ka sa mga recipeints. ;D ang concern ko kasi, how will you be judged sa judgment day kaya? ang layo ng iniisip ko. :P