Ben Pollara July 28, 1927 – May 10, 2015 When I think of Ben, I want to laugh, have one more cocktail, watch that brain in action. In fact, when Tampa came up as a possibility for a transplant, I contacted Ben, who had relocated to Tampa General Hospital. It was Ben who gave me […]
Heart Transplant Journal By November 28th, 2009, I was in our Tampa Bay apartment resting and recovering from the heart transplant. I had been released from the hospital 17 days earlier. Suzanne and I found navigating through the day was filled with prescription medications, five insulin readings and injections of varying magnitudes per day, two […]
There is no good time to be hospitalized. Generally, weekend nights are the worst times to go to an emergency room. During my recovery, I have needed to visit the emergency room on three weekend nights. Those experiences led me to delay my final emergency room visit until a Monday. On weekend nights, the Tampa Bay […]
I had seven heart attacks on September 9, 2000. On September 10th, 2000, I successfully underwent six-way open-heart bypass surgery. My friend and Albany cardiologist, Dr. John Bennett and Dr. Larry Safi of Prime Care Cardiology saved my life. Thank you gentlemen! At first, I thought it was a shoulder injury suffered the night before […]
I liked to go to work early. There is a certain serenity in the quiet workplace. We always arose at 4:00 a.m. Suzanne would hit the road for her ten-mile church, garden and golf course jaunt and I would truck on down to work.
On February 7, I arrived at the coffee shop at 4:30. It was cold. Very cold. Surprisingly, the shop was not open, but the newspapers were there. I parked and decided to grab a paper to wait for my pre-workday caffeine fix.
At 11:32 p.m. the phone rang. “Mr. Doolittle,” Ann began, “we have your new heart. Can you be at the hospital in about one hour? The surgery is scheduled for 3:00 a.m.” Self doubt, fear, joy, nervousness, reservations and determination all fought with each other while I merely the pawn in the middle. When the dust settled, what happened that night was truly miraculous.