NACO County News
Jack Miller is one heartless politician. No, the Middlesex County, Va. supervisor isn't lacking in compassion or the milk of human kindness — quite the opposite, say those who know him.
He has no heart. It was removed Sept. 15 and replaced by an artificial one. His "total artificial heart" runs on air via two tubes through his abdomen that connect to an external battery-powered device... read more
Jack Miller doesn't mind acknowledging that he ran a heartless campaign this fall to win re-election to the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors. He couldn't help it — not having his heart and all.
"I may be the only politician in history that has been participating without a heart — without a legitimate heart, I mean," Miller said with a laugh in a phone interview Friday from his home in Locust Hill.
By "legitimate," Miller means his own heart. Miller, 62, was diagnosed 11 years ago with degenerative heart disease. Over the years, his heart grew weaker and weaker. Doctors did what they could, but the thing finally reached the point of giving out, and something drastic needed to be done. So, on Sept. 15, surgeons at VCU Medical Center in Richmond removed Miller's heart — but not his sense of humor — and replaced it with a mechanical device that will keep him alive until a donor heart becomes available for a transplant... read more
Dec. 20, 2011
Shawn Galloway's list of things to be grateful for this holiday season may need a table of contents. She has successfully progressed through two life-saving surgeries within the last five months. Last July, the Cypress Fairbanks-area resident was one of four patients to receive an artificial heart at the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. It was that procedure that kept her alive to receive a donor heart two months later... read more
Dec. 22, 2011
Most girls Mia Welch's age would be asking for new clothes for Christmas, or maybe an iPad.
"Just waiting. Could be a good Christmas present," Welch said. Her wish list is short, and something no 21-year-old should need. "A new heart. I never thought I'd be asking for that, ever. But things change," Welch said. Change might be her word of the year.
Let us explain. First, if you spend time in Welch's hospital room, you'll hear a constant thump thump noise. She relies on that thumping sound to know she's still kicking. It comes out of a little box that contains her temporary heart... read more
Margaret Daugherty's room is quiet. The constant churning noise from the portable machine that powered her artificial heart, the machine to which she was tethered for 223 days, is gone. The artificial heart is gone, too, replaced by the heart of an unknown woman, a donor about whom Daugherty knows little, except that she was a perfect match.
Daugherty also senses that she was someone who liked Labradors and spending time at the ocean. "The only thing I woke up wanting was a Corona and a lime, and a Labrador dog, and to be on the beach," she says with a smile, sitting up in an easy chair beside her bed at the VCU Pauley Heart Center. "Those were my impressions after I came to. A chocolate Lab and a yellow Lab were in my dream.
The fact that Daugherty woke up at all, that she's telling this story, is something of a miracle... read more
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