The Background

I was born in Los Angeles on January 29, 1988 to a very loving and supportive family. Somehow, everything came together. I grew into— and I had to ask my closest friends to describe me— a “loud, fun-loving, sarcastic, bubbly” doctor with some strange hobbies, an obsession with true crime documentaries, and an innate determination to change the world. I have lived (& continue to live) a good, beautiful life.

In 2018, I was completing my medical training in the captivating field of Emergency Medicine, while spending my free time with loving friends, good food, and crisp wine. I was obsessed with my lifelong hobby of photography. I enjoyed being involved with extracurriculars, interest groups, and academic research. I exercised when I had the chance to, and I cooked a few times a week to get my mind off of my stressful schedule. 

I was happily getting ready for a big move to New York City to specialize in Critical Care Medicine. I wanted to become a “lifesaver on steroids.” I was the definition of a patient advocate. Passionate about my career, I was ready for my next challenging chapter in training. I was stubborn, but enthusiastic and whole-hearted about everything that I did.

I followed the cliche sayings of “Carpe diem, never say never, c’est la vie” and all of the likes. I was living a good, beautiful life.

But on December 21, 2018, I almost died.

And then … miraculously … on January 15, 2019, I was reborn with a new heart, all thanks to a selfless organ donor who happened to have my matching blood type (B+, to be exact, wink face). 

I decided to create this blog to share my journey into what happened, why it happened, and what I’m going to take away from my experience. You see, there are several ways to interpret these “inconvenient" life events (let’s call these ILEs). You can genuinely see them as setbacks and let them take over your thoughts. You can blame yourself or others (or even a higher being) and dwell on the reasons why such ILE happened to happen to good, ol’ you.

Me? I gracefully embraced my ILE. I am continuing to learn from it every day, even in my hospital room on Post-Op Day 7. You see, blogging on Cardiac Transplant Post-Op Day 7 is record-setting.

This project will become my creative space to tell my story, promote health and wellness, give out any life tips as needed, and advocate for transplant research & organ donation. I may ramble endlessly, or do a few “Top Ten” Lists to change things around. Some posts will be longer than others, but I’m generally a concise & straightforward person.

I won’t keep you bored. 

I would like to end each post with a tasteful quote, lyric, photo, or book suggestion, so here goes my first one:

“At nearly 80, with a scattering of medical and surgical problems, none disabling, I feel glad to be alive — "I'm glad I'm not dead!" sometimes bursts out of me when the weather is perfect.” 

Tastefully stated by Oliver Sacks (one of my influencers, a clinician-storyteller with a beautiful knack for words, who died in 2015 of metastatic cancer). 

Until next time, World. Perhaps I will be out of the hospital by then.