My name is Pat McEntee and I received a heart transplant in 2017. I was a young adult when I was diagnosed with a rare combination of congenital heart defects (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy & Wolf Parkinsons White Syndrome). I had an ablation, and all was fine until my early 30's when I suffered a pair of strokes six months apart. I recovered with minimal deficits and was given an ICD/Pacemaker. Throughout my 30's my heart function declined and by my 40th birthday, I was being evaluated for a heart transplant. My health was crashing fast, and I was listed immediately. I had a Left Ventricular Assist Device implanted and that carried me for nearly three years while I waited for my transplant. The LVAD caused me to have a third stroke, which helped move me up on the priority. Three weeks later, I got the call. I have been doing very well since the transplant and haven't had to spend the night in the hospital ever since (going on six years).
With my new lease on life, I seek to help others who face similar medical crises. I'd love to find a job working for a non-profit that deal with organ donation and/or heart disease. My background is in working in communication, education and ministry. I have a BA in Journalism and an MA in Pastoral Ministry.
Congratulations on your transplant! I am also a transplant recipient (4 years out) and a former LVAD patient. You've been through a lot and have so much to offer others who are dealing with advanced heart failure and transplant. Volunteer opportunities abound (Mended Hearts accredited patient visitor, your local hospital, your regional OPO (organ procurement organization)as an ambassador for organ donation). Your regional OPO might also have paying job openings. I checked the website of LifeSource, Minnesota's OPO. They listed several job openings. Your local healthcare systems might also have transplant/LVAD-specific staffing needs. With all of your background, both in terms of education and your own personal experiences, you have a lot to share with other patients, caregivers, and the community.