“The Servant of the Art” Colby Salerno – Patient and Future MD

Colby Salerno, Shattered Lives, Donna R. Gore

“The physician must be able to tell the origin…, know the present, and foretell the future – must mediate these things. The physician must always view disease with two things in mind… namely, to do good or to do no harm…. 

The art consists in three things – the disease, the patient, and the physician. The physician is the servant of the art, and the patient must combat the disease along with the physician.” http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/greekmedicine/f/HippocraticOath.htm

Colby Salerno is a rare individual….selfless, brave, pioneering in the field of organ donation advocacy and is on the precipice of applying his considerable knowledge as the recipient of a heart transplant and life skills to the future of medicine.  His story is unique in many ways.  His mother is a fierce advocate for “Donate Life,”

http://donatelife.net/understanding-donation/  but she continues to worry as a mother in her situation has cause to do.  They have been through so much….and yet, they know they are blessed. Colby forges on with confidence and the promise of a bright future…with so many supporters!

Our national audience witnessed this incredible story of a “Shattered Life” transformed into something so rare and filled with inspiration and hope for others. The critical message- Be prepared and think about organ donation early in the game of life.

CLICK HERE to listen to podcast

  • Introduction to our guests;
  • Ladyjustice on the social media blogging aspect; 
  • Colby’s life as a young child and athlete –  a misdiagnosis of “sport induced asthma;”
  • Research and hoping to “fix my heart really fast….heart transplant instead;
  • End of 2010..by Sept of 2010  double listed  for heart transplant at Tufts and at Hartford Hospital;
  • Memorial Day weekend 2012…. Receiving the call;
  • Emotions running the gamut…and grief for the donor;
  • Creating a blog to get through it….telling the story while feeling numb….;
  • Delilah asks about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and its symptoms…  The leading cause of sudden death in young athletes…
  • Colby’s case…very rare…. “A heart performing the way an 80 year old man’s heart would… 
  • Kelly Salerno…. A mother’s feelings….in retrospect a year ago… How they learned about “the call;”
  • “Tales from the Tenth Floor” blog;
  • Keeping everybody going at the hospital…a tower of strength;
  • The inspiration to blog from the hospital…. At least a three month adventure that blossomed into more…
  • Spreading the word about organ donation…..Blogging was the vehicle….dispelling the myths…
  • Ladyjustice asks about the critical and sensitive time of requesting organ donation;
  • Colby doing a documentary after a good friend dies and becomes an organ donor;
  • Good coming from bad….and a new chance at life;
  • A change in perspective and Kelly as a board member…. The importance of getting the conversation started early on…
  • Connecticut Law regarding organ donors;
  • http://donatelife.net/ choosing to be a tissue donor or organ legally;
  • ***Once you are an organ donor in Connecticut, your family CANNOT overrule it; 
  • “Overruling” in other states…. Ladyjustice asks about passing away in another state but designated as a donor in your home state.
  • Colby’s opinion – viability of organs and giving the best organs possible in the area in which the person is located…
  • Ladyjustice asks about financial donations;
  • Colby explains the process of knowing if your organs are adequate and how the doctor’s examine organs versus personal selection;
  • Colby’s donated heart…getting a virus for the first time from the donor heart….Why and how? 
  • Colby’s first bout with illness in a year;
  • A crime element to this story….and the usual process of donor communication circumvented 
  • An 18 year old basketball player assaulted and died….
  • “Colby’s charm” and the media figured out details of the donor;
  • Kelly on  “a first in donor history;”
  • Colby’s blog:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Have-A-Heart-For-Colby/157665944268387?id=157665944268387&sk=photos_stream
  • Organ donation exploitation: Colby sets people straight…a teaching moment;
  • Delilah asks about the organ transplant protocol: How do you determine the most in need and who makes the determination?
  • Kelly explains the importance of blood type, matching and Colby’s wait…
  • Type O…the good and the bad of it….
  • “On the list” from Sept 23rd 2010  until May  29th, 2012
  • Ladyjustice asks about the time when you are waiting…. Are you sustained on an artificial heat pump? 
  • What medical procedures sustained Colby during the waiting period?
  • Kelly discusses the staff at Hartford Hospital and support groups;
  • Therapy sessions…going from one kind of worry to another….
  • Kelly’s personal journey….to the present and some extra curricular  activities;
  • Two most important meds  and keeping up  with payments ($7,000  per month);
  • Colby on the “longevity of hearts;” 
  • Not thinking about rejection…and living a healthy lifestyle…
  • Restrictions: Hand washing and avoiding raw foods;
  • Colby’s future goals as an MD;
  • Contacting Colby on Facebook:  You can send a message


organ donation, Colby Salerno, Shattered Lives, Donna R. Gore 

Questions Regarding Colby’s Story:

  • What was the medical discovery that changed Colby’s life and “coming clean” with his physician?
  • Why was Colby’s heart failing needing hospitalization in December 2011? What was the diagnosis?
  • What was Colby’s plan after 166 days in the hospital?
  • What happens with the diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?
  • How did Colby’s condition affect him during college?
  • How did Colby’s mother get through this ordeal?
  • How many viewings and what awards were bestowed on Colby as a result of his blog?
  • Colby doing a documentary after a good friend dies and becomes an organ donor;
  • What is the process and protocol for requesting organs from grieving families?
  • How many lives can be saved with the donation of a single organ?
  • What are the important factors involved in designating organ donation and the state in which you live?
  • Are there opportunities to give money or volunteer?
  • Are all organs accepted… under what circumstances?
  • What is CMV?
  • How much information do they actually divulge to the donor recipient?
  • What is the proper way of communicating with donor families?
  • What are the statuses involved in the organ donation protocol?
  • How many people are waiting for heart transplants in the US?
  • Are all patients on an artificial heart pump while you wait? What happened in Colby’s case?
  • What was the other medical tragedy that effected Kelly’s life prior to the transplant?
  • Colby’s former job and losing his job…
  • Health insurance and the financial toll…;
  • “Helping me out”… “I’m just not that type of person looking for a handout.”
  • Kelly’s expression of gratitude the numerous help and events that were offered
  • How many medications does Colby take per day?
  • Is Colby able to resume sports and going to the gym? 


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