Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Having a family member who has received a life-saving heart transplant, I can personally vouch for the family’s gratitude for the organ donor, and the shared grief that facilitates the transplant. The gift of life through donation is a precious one.

Stephen Lovely's novel “Irreplaceable” takes a look at one person's decision to become an organ donor and how that one decision affected so many lives. It is a brilliant novel, full of emotion and strength, and most importanly Lovely gives light to the importance of the critical need for organ donors today.

Becoming an organ donor was very important to Isabel Howard-Voorman, and she convinced her husband Alex to sign a card acknowledging that he knew of her wishes. And like a good, love-struck husband, he put the card away in his wallet, never dreaming it would ever see the light of day.

Until the day Isabel was killed while riding her bike by a reckless driver.

Painfully, Alex agrees to allow Isabel’s heart, along with other organs, to be taken for transplant.
Janet Cocoran has been waiting for a new heart for a long time. The heart disease that is slowly killing her is also destroying her once close-knit family and threatens her marriage, one sickly beat at a time. In ghoulish desperation, she would watch the news, anxiously awaiting news of a fatal car accident, hoping the victim would be an organ donor who would match her. It was a miraculous day when she learned there was a heart on the way for her … Isabel’s heart.

A year later, Janet has recovered well from her transplant and tracks down the name of the family of her donor, despite recommendations from the transplant team that she not do that. She sends a letter to Alex, thanking him for his wife’s gift of life. But Alex is still grieving Isabel’s loss and doesn’t want to communicate with Janet. Telling Isabel’s mother Bernice of the intrusive letter, Alex is shocked to find out that she had been emailing with Janet’s mother for a long time and knew all about the transplant Janet underwent and her progress.

Feeling betrayed, Alex tries to move on with his life, but the persistent notes from Janet, and the gentle nagging of his mother-in-law keep the subject on his mind. It is the sudden appearance of Jasper Klass, the man who hit Isabel with his truck, and his intense and creepy interest in finding the person who had received Isabel’s heart that would propel Alex into finally meeting Janet, and coming to grips with the fact that she was alive due to his wife’s death. And when seeking forgiveness for his actions Klass threatens the safety of that heart beating within Janet’s chest, Alex knows he must do whatever it takes to protect the irreplaceable gift of life Isabel so selflessly gave.

Dallas-born author Stephen Lovely takes readers inside the world of heart transplants in his novel, “Irreplaceable.” Stunningly accurate, Lovely captures the heartbreak of losing a loved one, the overwhelming guilt of taking a life, and the amazement of regaining life in this vivid tale. His characters are so real readers will feel they experience first-hand the waves of emotions that tumble over their fictional lives and Lovely’s research and descriptions of the transplant procedure and recovery are astonishingly exact.

For more information on organ donation, check out http://www.organdonor.gov/

1 comment:

....Petty Witter said...

Having a catch up. You have certainly reviewed a wide range of books, I think I'm most interested in The Girl With Glass Feet as I too love fairy tales and this one sounds wonderful, one for my wish list.