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402 Reasons to Be Grateful

After two weeks of unspeakable violence that has touched several American communities – including one of our own – it can be difficult to find reasons to be grateful. Today, we have at least 402.

That’s the total number of heart transplants that have been performed at Baptist since we began offering this service in 1985. In April, I told you about 25-year-old Khadija Elshabazz, who at the time was awaiting a donor heart. I’m happy to say that she recently became our 401st heart transplant patient. Thanks to a generous donor family and the skill of our transplant team, she has more time to spend with her husband and two young children.

Khadija Elshabazz is the recipient of a heart transplant at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. (Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis/Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht).

This is a big win for our entire system. Baptist Memphis’ adult heart transplant services are accessible to most of the communities we serve, and the leaders of the hospital’s advanced heart failure program are educating physicians throughout West Tennessee, East Arkansas and North Mississippi about our transplant services, as well as other heart failure treatments we offer. You can help by sharing Khadija’s story with people you know who could benefit from these services. For more information, physicians and potential patients can call 901-226-3712.

As we mourn the dozens of lives lost during the past two weeks and pray for the loved ones left behind, let us never forget how blessed we are to have the ability to save lives. It’s a privilege we can never take for granted.

How has heart failure touched your life? Let me know by emailing me, tweeting me @jason_m_little or by finding me on LinkedIn.

If you would like to share a story in the Baptist Leader, please send it to us by completing this form.