Heart transplant recipients reflect on journey

Heart transplant recipients meet for lunch at Oaks Grille in Valencia on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
What bonded the group of five men having lunch at Oaks Grille in Valencia on Sunday wasn’t their taste in food, but their hearts.

All five men have received heart transplants at Cedars-Sinai hospital, and it’s their struggles that connect them.

“We all know what everybody’s been through,” said Richard Aidem. “I met most of them when they were at their worst in the hospital.”

Aidem starting volunteering at the hospital after he received a heart transplant. He suffered from Becker’s muscular dystrophy, a disease that affected his heart and caused various problems including an irregular beat.

Almost three years ago, he finally got the much-needed organ. After the transplant, he wrote a letter to the family of his donor, a 20-year-old boy who committed suicide. Continue reading

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