Why Nick's New Heart is needed:

"You will have or did have very different expectations than your family about life and recovery from transplant surgery. One parent of an infant who received a liver transplant stated, 'I was surprised that there was little GOOD or accurate information about life after transplant. I also found that no one really agreed with what was a "normal" life post-transplant.' As a result, this mom said she "knew it would be trading in one set of problems for another.'"

From Illness to Wellness:
Life after Transplant
by the National Kidney Foundation

"Science goes so far and then comes God."
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Nick's New Heart

Most people associate heart problems with old age. However, many American children suffer serious heart issues that once were insurmountable. In the past, infants with heart defects like Nick's invariably died at a very young age but with surgical and medical advances, this gloomy situation has changed, providing not only a positive quality of life but a substantial life span.

Nick's life has been similar to taking a roller coaster ride without a seat belt or a safety bar. No one, not even Nick's doctors or his family, knew what was around the next turn. His story's often more dramatic than fiction, as devoted doctors and nurses worked together with his family not just to save Nick's life, but to provide him with a happy life.

He grew up alongside his peers, graduated from college, married and became a father. Through each of those milestones has come great experiences, a deeper understanding of the human spirit and God's love, the value of hope, love, and steadfast support from friends, relatives, nurses, staff, and doctors - and his home town.

Through it all, Nick has lived and loved. Not just survived, but thrived and beaten the odds. Thirty years and counting ...

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Quality of Life

On the large screen at the front of the filled auditorium is a picture of a child. It appears to be a boy around two years of age. The boy is sitting on the ground and has mud from head to toe, and a huge grin on his face. Dr. Kirk Kanter, a heart transplant surgeon at Children's Hospital of Atlanta at Egleston is standing at the podium speaking to the class of nurses.

"This is Nick May. I transplanted him two weeks before his second birthday. His mother sent me this picture she took right after the transplant. With the picture was a note that read: Dr. Kanter, You promised me quality of life with a transplant. And what is quality of life for a two year old, but a mud puddle.

If you wonder why we do transplants, this is why."


"I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day to day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failure, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances or my position. ATTITUDE is that single string that keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, or no challenge too great. We have the right to choose our own attitude, bitterness or forgiveness, give-up or go on, hatred or hope, determination to endure or the paralysis of self pity. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it."


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Daily Inspirations from The Unflappable Substitue

Dear Reader,

I loved being a substitute. I loved the students and the staffs of the schools I worked in. Most of all I liked feeling needed and appreciated.

I believe there was value in my service. I still do. Good substitutes are necessary. They are as important to the educational system as books, computers, and buses. I hope you feel the same as I do and treat the job with respect.

In this book I share some of the many experiences I had as a substitute – good ones and bad ones. My desire is that you are motivated and encourage by my stories.

I wish you the best as you face each new school day.

Susan May
The Unflappable Substitute

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