Tuesday, April 08, 2008

File Under Weird

I heard this on the radio this morning, and the disk jockey, who is normally reliable, swore it was true. A 54 year old man needed a heart transplant and got one from a 33 year old man who had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. After about a year, the transplant fellow was feeling so grateful for his new lease on life that he contacted the suicide's widow to tell her how much the heart had meant for him. The two became friends and after a while began dating and eventually married. All went well for a few more years until the man began to get very depressed. He then killed himself by shooting himself in the head.

Think it's bad because your relationship history involves repeated breakups? Hey, it could be worse. How would you like to be this woman?

In other news, my contest is over. I had almost 30 entries and will do the drawing tonight or tomorrow and announce the winners here. Everybody who posted a title, unless they specifically stated otherwise, will be entered in the contest. There were some great titles, and a few that are already on my list of favorites, like "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and "Repent Harlequin, said the Tick Tock Man." Congratulations to all who entered.

33 comments:

SQT said...

If that really is a true story, I feel bad for that woman.

And what a weird statement that makes about transplants. I wonder if there are other similar stories (though hopefully with happier endings)?

Avery DeBow said...

I sense a story in there, although the transplant-turned-evil thing has been played out a bit. It would have to be approached from a different angle... Now the wheels are churning.

I can't imagine what that woman went/is going through. Hopefully she doesn't start blaming herself.

Michelle's Spell said...

Oh my -- that is a wild story! I believe it -- people with transplants do talk about experiencing different feelings with new hearts. I love the story (true or not) as a metaphor for the repeat damage of love. Oh, I thought of another title I love -- Last Exit To Brooklyn. Don't think I could stand seeing the movie again, though. Once in that case might be enough. The book is even more brutal.

SzélsőFa said...

There are many interesting and wild stories around receiving transplated organs. I wish I neved need one. I'd be gratefully donor one, though.

Britta Coleman said...

This, unbelievably, is true. I read it in my newspaper yesterday (and thought of the science-fiction angle, too.) That poor woman. The report came from the Associated Press. Here's a link to the story:

http://www.star-telegram.com/national_news/story/566547.html

steve said...

This is weird--perhaps in the old sense of the word, meaning fate. I can't believe that there was a biological factor here, as the heart is a pump, and not the seat of emotions. Since the recipient knew the manner of the donor's death, it's more likely that we're dealing with something psychological. Any theories from the resident psychology professor?

Shauna Roberts said...

Very sad for everyone concerned.

Billy said...

I read this in the news yesterday. A few weeks ago, I did a post on my other blog on a phenomenon called "cellular memory." Transplant patients often have eerie, inexplicable impulses that can be traced to the donor, like the urge to smoke or the ability to play music. Scientists now have discovered that memory is not localized in the brain. (Great plot for a novel, too.)

Lana Gramlich said...

Yes, it's weird & it's true. They say truth is stranger than fiction, after all. From what I understand, however, men prefer guns for suicide over other methods, so it might not be as strange as it seems. Lord knows there's enough to get depressed about these days...

Ello said...

Maybe it isn't the heart but the woman that causes depression and suicide?

Charles Gramlich said...

SQT, there have been some horror movies made from this premise. One I remember was a transplanted arm from a serial killer story.

Avery, I think it would be hard not to feel a bit of "blame oneself" under these circumstances but I hope for her also.

Michelle, yes, as a metaphor it is certainly powerful.

Szelsofa, I plan to use my organs up so I don't know if anyone would want them after I'm done.


Britta Coleman, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the link. Yes, very interesting.

Steve, I feel virtually certain that we're talking about a psychological process. The depression? Well, if the guy needed a heart transplant he was probably in poor health anyway. And, as Lana pointed out, men use guns and if you use a gun you're not going to shoot yourself in the foot to kill yourself. So it's not as dramatic as it may seem at first.

Shauna, it certainly is that.

Billy, there is certainly such a thing as cellular memory, although it seems largely a chemical phenomenon. I doubt that explains what happened to this guy, though. But yes, fictionalized a bit it would make a great story or book.

Lana, good point. And now to be sickening. WARNING WARNING WARNING. Read on at your own risk. "I already gave my heart to you but thanks for letting me keep it in my chest for now."

Ello, that thought did occur to me, and even moved toward a possible "Black Widow" scenario.

Miladysa said...

Such a shame for the poor lady concerned :[


[btw, I LOVED your comment to Lana!]

Steve Malley said...

From Michael Connelly's BLOOD WORK, I understand a heart transplant leaves you weak and *seriously* on the drugs: thinners, clotters, elevators, I don't know what all.

Not too surprising maybe that some folks would look at years of bad health and medication-dependence and get fed up.

But AVERY, what if the girlfriend had her own reasons for gently nudging another guy to take his own life? She could be a cold and ruthless black widow, or, maybe, the good guy...

Erik Donald France said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erik Donald France said...

Yeah, I'd read that one, too -- much like an old Twilight Zone episode about a dead man's shoes -- only it was his heart . . .

Not to sound evil, but maybe the wife drove them both to it. Just a thought . . .

(without typos ;)

Sidney said...

I saw a headline about that on either digg or one of the news aggregators, so I think it is true.

Greg Schwartz said...

that's a freaky story. i heard it on the radio up here in Maryland, too, but wasn't sure if it was true or not. i guess so.

ivan said...

Well, if an alien android were to meet a Canadian teenager on drugs he would surely mistake him for a donkey.

Certainly by the the cry: Hee. Faack!

Charles Gramlich said...

Miladysa, I suspect Lana will enjoy it too ;)

Steve Malley, the possible black widow element is definitely intriguing from a story perspective, though I hope it's not the case in reality.

Erik, I remember a horror movie about an arm transplant from a killer, and recently there was one about an eye transplant.

Sidney, it's certainly looking like it is.

Ivan, are you on drugs, man? And if so, can I score some?

Lisa said...

I can't imagine how horrible it would be to lose a spouse to suicide. The guilt over not being able to anticipate or help the person would be overwhelming. But to have it happen twice...

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. For now...Yes, for now. ;) *L*

Mimi Lenox said...

You've been royally tagged by Mimi Queen of Memes. Have fun!
Message In a Bottle

the walking man said...

Curious, were these investigated as murders?

Peace

mark

Bernita said...

Depression is a serious side effect of heart surgery.

Leigh Russell said...

Is that a true story? It's a terrible one! Was it the heart or the woman, do you think? My guess is the woman drove them to it for their money. But then, I write crime fiction!

I see other bloggers feel sorry for her. Maybe I'm just a nasty person!

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, I know. It would be nearly impossible not to feel somehow responsible.

Lana, hopefully for a while to come. I do like to have my heart beating.

Mimi, *tries to dodge and fails.* "A Meme! I'll check it out.

Mark, one wonders. I don't know.

Bernita, I would imagine that it would be, just because of the physiological effects.

Leigh, I'm convinced it's a true story after various comments. I feel sorry for her, but I really hope she didn't have anything to do with it.

Farrah Rochon said...

I just read this story. So awful. I know there are a bunch of studies that link heart disease with depression. I'm not sure which comes first, the heart disease or the depression, but my guess is that the connection played a part here.

Lana Gramlich said...

Since you're particularly cute with that blush of life to you, okay. ;) *L*

Ello said...

OK - I read past the 3 Warnings and read your sweetness to Lana. Can I just say Awwwwwwwww!

You and Lana are too cute for words! And I know you rolled your eyes on that but you have to admit that you had it coming for such a sweet comment! You are both very lucky to have each other!

Sarai said...

I read the story in the paper. Apparently it is true! Sucks for the woman and now what a great story that would make reminds me of the B movie Idle Hand... where the hand was possessed or something.

Danette Haworth said...

That's horrible and eerie. I've read similar stories in which the recipients began to crave certain foods they didn't even like before, and later they found out those items were the donors' favorites.

Barrie said...

I wonder if it's really true. Very weird and sad, if it is.

Rachel said...

I've heard of an Angel episode that was similar. That is the heart of horror.