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Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart to Heart with Anna

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November 26th 2013:Organ Donation and Transplantation

Every ten minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list. More than 120,000 men, women and children currently need lifesaving organ transplants. The United Network for Organ Sharing also reports that an average of 18 people die each day from a lack of available organs for transplant. Jessica Pearlman and Anthony Pugliese know what it’s like to be on that waiting list. They also know what it’s like to finally receive an organ that allows them to live another day. Emily Wiebke, Kathy Keller and Eileen Pearlman will share with us what it’s like to be the mother of a

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Eileen Pearlman

Eileen Pearlman and Jessica Cowin: Eileen has two daughters, Jessica and Amy Cowin. While pregnant with Jessica, she thought everything was fine. Jessica was born on June 7, 1983. Doctors began monitoring her heart due to an irregular heartbeat. Three days later, after extensive testing, she had emergency surgery because she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. By 13, she had had all of the palliative surgeries and a revised Fontan because her heart was failing. In August of 1999, Jessica was listed for a heart transplant. Being listed at home meant it could take 6-12 months to get a heart; however, on September 25, 1999, we were called to the hospital for a new heart! She received the heart
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Jessica Cowin

Eileen Pearlman and Jessica Cowin: Eileen has two daughters, Jessica and Amy Cowin. While pregnant with Jessica, she thought everything was fine. Jessica was born on June 7, 1983. Doctors began monitoring her heart due to an irregular heartbeat. Three days later, after extensive testing, she had emergency surgery because she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. By 13, she had had all of the palliative surgeries and a revised Fontan because her heart was failing. In August of 1999, Jessica was listed for a heart transplant. Being listed at home meant it could take 6-12 months to get a heart; however, on September 25, 1999, we were called to the hospital for a new heart! She received the heart
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Emily Wiebke

Emily Wiebke: I have a wonderful daughter named Aryanna who was born on April 20, 2003. She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (where the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, unable to pump effectively) at 7.5 months of age. It was decided she would need a heart transplant. She was hospitalized at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Children’s Hospital for 419 days (356 listed) as she waited for her transplant, which occurred December 31, 2004. During that time I did not work; I was with her all the time. I had never thought about organ donation beyond the ‘Yes’ on my driver’s license before she was listed. Aryanna’s transplant has changed our lives. I have spoken a few times to
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Kathy Keller

Kathy Keller: My 16-year-old son Garrett is a heart transplant recipient. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which required several open-heart surgeries. He did well but had complications including a significant stroke. When he was 12 his heart failed and he was listed for transplant. After two years he finally received his gift of life on his 14th birthday in 2011! During his wait and recovery, we had to split the family across two states. As the family breadwinner, I continued working to support us. My husband Dennis and I saw each other for 15 minutes twice a week while we switched who was with Garrett in Philadelphia and who was with our younger son in Virginia. We did thi
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Anthony Pugliese

Anthony Pugliese: I was born in 1964 with a single ventricle heart, pulononary stenosis and transposition of the great arteries. I had my first open-heart surgery at age 10 months, my second at age 14 and my third and final open-heart surgery at age 20. At age 33 I developed atrial fibrillation but thanks to medications I suffered no problems until age 44. That’s when I started to become weaker. I was placed on the Heart Transplant List on January 26 2009 and received my new heart on March 26 2009. I served on the Board of Directors for 8 years for the Adult Congenital Heart Association. I currently volunteer at CORE - center for organ recovery and education. I am also a founding committee m
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