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Nick's New Heart: The TRUE STORY of Love, Strength, and Courage    by Susan May order for
Nick's New Heart
by Susan May
Order:  USA  Can
Tiger Iron Press, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Leslie McKee

This is a heartfelt story about a family's fight to keep their young son alive. Born with a congenital heart defect (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome), Nick became part of a loving family with three siblings (Drew, Mary Beth and Zach). Two weeks prior to his second birthday (on 3-21-91), Nick received a heart transplant, though his first surgery was five days after his birth.

Despite the financial issues associated with Nick's multiple surgeries, Susan and her family tried to keep life as normal as possible, which even included traveling across the United States and to Europe. A detailed account of Nick's life, from surgeries to normal childhood activities to graduation, is chronicled. To add a personal touch, numerous family pictures are included.

Susan provides an insider's perspective about parenting a child with a chronic, life-threatening illness. She hopes to raise an awareness about the importance of organ donation. Susan is very detailed about the close, personal relationships that developed between her family and the medical community, as well as the medical procedures (explained in layman's terms). It is heartwarming to see how family and friends were there for support.

The book is also designed as a resource for other families. A detailed Appendix with tips on living with chronically ill or transplant children and a resource list (with books, groups and websites), as well as Susan's email address, is included. One of the best parts is at the end, where Susan shares her personal reflections on Nick's life.

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