“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Sunday, June 16, 2024



My father and me, September 1967

Two months later, my dad suffered a massive heart attack that nearly killed him (his heart stopped 3 times and was revived with defibrillators (that was the first time I heard of them). His heart was so badly damaged from earlier angina (he was a pharmacist, we suspected he had been treating his own symptoms with things like nitroglycerin for quite some time). When he had his major heart attack, he was 50 and I was 14. 

For days, his life hung in the balance. On December 3rd 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant on a South African named Louis Washansky. My father's treating heart specialist told the families with heart patients in the ICU, that they were not to talk about the heart transplant with them. The doctor said the transplant was premature because anti-rejection drugs weren't ready. He was right. Mr. Washansky died within 18 days of his heart transplant. We were devastated because we had been grasping at a staw of hope for our dying loved ones. Happily, my dad did not die and lived another two years, without a transplant.

Dr. Barnard did his second transplant on 3 January 1968, on a dentist named Philip Blaiberg who lived 19 months, dying from heart complications on 17 August 1969. Anti-rejection drugs progressed at lightning speed. Today, anti-rejection drugs and therapies have been perfected. According to the Mayo Clinic, of people who have a heart transplant, half are alive 11 years after transplant surgery. There are about 5,000 heart transplants performed around the world annually.

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