Before, heart transplant came as a rarity. But today, with advancements in technology, it has become a life-saving surgery, increasing the chance of survival of people with heart problems.
But the rather odd thing about heart transplant is that there are times when the donee receives not only the donor’s vital organ but also his emotions—and even the same way that he died.
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Sonny Graham was lucky enough to receive Terry Cottle‘s heart after the latter committed suicide. When Sonny found out who the organ donor was, he then began writing letters to a nurse named Mrs. Cheryl Cottle, who was Terry’s wife.
Not long after their first meeting, Sonny married Cheryl. And everything after that seemed to be okay.
But if lightning doesn’t strike twice, then tragedy certainly does. After being married to Cheryl for 12 years, Sonny shot himself to death in the exact same fashion as Terry did. As if fate itself was playing a cruel game to Cheryl, she became a widow of two men who shared the same heart.
According to some of the couple’s friends, Cheryl was in a state of shock by the disastrous coincidence. Official reports had it that Sonny, who was 60 years old, was found in a garage that belonged to the couple. Sonny used a shotgun and shot himself in the throat.
Sonny suffered a congestive heart failure in 1995 but was able to escape the clutches of death. He was given only six months to live when he received a call from Medical University of South Carolina, telling him that a heart was available for transplant.
Sonny was completely unaware that his donor’s name was Terry and that he died by suicide at the age of 33. It was only a year after the successful transplant that he found out about the guy, when he contacted the organ donation agency.
According to scientists, the reason Sonny took his own life too was probably because of a notion called cellular memory. They suggest that there are cases when the recipients also receive the characteristics of their donor. Since there is a lack of research with regard to this theory, medical experts aren’t convinced enough that this is true.