McCrabb: Heart recipient receives best Christmas ‘gift’

Journal-News | Rick McCrabb

Dale Brown, who had a heart transplant seven weeks ago at The Ohio University Medical Center, holds his heart pillow and a “Donate Life” magnet after an interview at his home Friday, Dec. 18 in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

There is no Christmas tree inside Dale Brown’s house on Central Avenue. No stockings hanging from the fire place, either.

In fact, his house looks the same as it probably did on Easter, except for the stacks of medical papers and the bottles of prescription medications sitting on the counter.

But you’ll have to forgive him. He’s been rather busy lately, and his Christmas Wish List was fulfilled two months ago.

“I’m alive,” the 68-year-old said.

On Oct. 31 — and not today, Christmas morning 2015 — Brown received the ultimate gift from an anonymous donor: a healthy heart. Weeks after the transplant, Brown wrote the donor’s family a hand-written, heart-felt, one-page letter. He concluded it something like this: “I will take care of my heart the rest of my life and try to be in the best shape possible.” Continue reading