Victim, Survivor, Thriver: A New Perspective on Grief


From my perspective, after nearly 37 years, I take comfort in the knowledge that through the devastation left by the murder of my father, I have been able to thrive, bring comfort, knowledge and assistance to others in entirely different ways than I ever thought possible!

Over the past several years, mentors, including Susan Murphy Milano, homicide survivor and nationally known Intimate Partner Violence Expert and Advocate, Delilah Jones, President of ImaginePublicity, and Monica Caison, Founder of the CUE Center for Missing Persons, have given me opportunities and have made indelible marks on my life.  Thankfully, each of them has helped me graduate to true thriver mode in a myriad of ways. And, so can you!  

I would like to share the contents of a unique and valuable concept, with credit given to Dr. Barbara Whitfield a thalantologist (An expert in the study of death and dying). This chart is vital to the understanding of this progressive, useful concept.

As the theory goes, after having experienced a trauma, a person progresses, or gets stuck in a progression, from being labeled a ”victim,” then a ”survivor, followed by a “thriver.”

Upon discovering this material, I was delighted to identify myself as a “thriver” in nearly every category! Reading from left to right (Refer to chart)  from victim, to survivor to thriver, you can really see the progression of less needy, more independence and self-confidence in a person’s healing progression.

I challenge each reader to determine where they fit here and now on this chart. It is a perfect way to determine your emotional health goals. It is truly a map for post traumatic growth. Once you realize this, bask in your progress!

    From Victim to Survivor to Thriver


Victim Survivor Thriver
Doesn’t deserve nice things or trying for the “good life.” Struggling for reasons & chance to heal Gratitude for everything in life.
Low self esteem/shame/unworthy Sees self as wounded & healing Sees self as an overflowing miracle
Hyper vigilant Using tools to learn to relax Gratitude for new life
Alone Seeking help Oneness
Feels Selfish Deserves to seek help Proud of Healthy Self caring
Damaged Naming what happened Was wounded & now healing
Confusion & numbness Learning to grieve, grieving past ungrieved trauma Grieving at current losses
Overwhelmed by past Naming & grieving what happened Living in the present
Hopeless Hopeful Faith in self & life
Uses outer world to hide from self Stays with emotional pain Understands that emotional pain will pass & brings new insights
Hides their story Not afraid to tell their story to safe people. Beyond telling their story, but always aware they have created their own healing with HP
Believes everyone else is better, stronger, less damaged Comes out of hiding to hear others & have compassion for them & eventually self Lives with an open heart for self & others
Often wounded by unsafe others Learning how to protect self by share, check, share Protects self from unsafe others
Places own needs last Learning healthy needs (See Healing the Child Within & Gift to Myself) Places self first realizing that is the only way to function & eventually help others
Creates one drama after another See patterns Creates peace
Believes suffering is the human condition Feeling some relief, knows they need to continue in recovery Finds joy in peace
Serious all the time Beginning to laugh Seeing the humor in life
Uses inappropriate humor, including teasing Feels associated painful feelings instead Uses healthy humor
Uncomfortable, numb or angry around toxic people Increasing awareness of pain & dynamics Healthy boundaries around toxic people, incl. relatives
Lives in the past Aware of patterns Lives in the Now
Angry at religion Understanding the difference between religion & personal spirituality Enjoys personal relationship with the God of their understanding
Suspicious of therapists– projects Sees therapist as guide during projections Sees reality as their projection & owns it.
Needs people & chemicals to believe they are all right Glimpses of self-acceptance & fun without others Feels authentic & connected, Whole
“Depression” Movement of feelings Aliveness



©Barbara Whitfield 2003




OBESITY…and Other Bad Habits … It’s a CRIME and Punishable by DEATH if YOU Don’t Take Control…


Walk With Jennifer, Obesity,Weight Loss, AWAREmed, Dr. Dalal Akoury

There is a Yiddish saying that goes, “Why should life be easy…when it can be hard?”

Hard, Hard, Hard…. for the majority of people during some point in their lives… For many, life circumstance and bad luck seems to follow them in a never-ending cycle…. Never able to catch up with “catching a break” no matter how hard they try…

FIRST… the FACTS… that are given to put the fear of God and whatever it takes… should this apply to you or someone you love…. If the facts do not inspire change from complacency regarding the need to accept and embrace better health habits…. then a true revealing personal story to inspire you… from Jennifer Harkey of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina….  Should do it…. She is amazingly courageous and with her team of supporters and she is making great progress!

According to the most current data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

IT’S A CRIME…. In 2009–2010, 35.7% of U.S. adults were obese;

In 2009–2010, over 78 million U.S. adults and about 12.5 million children and adolescents were obese;


Obesity and Geography 

  • In 2012 Thirteen (13) states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence equal to or greater than 30%.
  • Adults meet Less than half (48%) of all the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • Americans living in the South are more likely to be less physically active than Americans living in the West, Northeast and Midwest regions of the country.
  • Men (52.1%) are more likely than women (42.6%) to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity.
  •  Adults whose family income is above the poverty level are more likely to meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for aerobic activity than adults whose family income is at or near the poverty level.


Obesity and Premature Death…. What’s the Correct Number??

About one in five (18%) of deaths among white and African-American people in the USA, ages 40 to 85, are associated with people being overweight or obese, the latest research suggests.

Calculations from scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that about 5% of deaths a year in the U.S. are because of obesity.

A third of Americans (36%) are obese, which is roughly 35 pounds over a healthy weight. Obesity puts people at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Pinpointing obesity-related deaths is an evolving science as researchers use different statistical models to come up with estimates.



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, In 2012, out of 12.2 million single parent families more than 80% were headed by single mothers.

Single Mothers (With Children Under 18 Years) 10,025,000    85.2       10,322,000         84.1


Today, 1 in 3 children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father.  Of that group, nearly half live below the poverty line.

Around 45% of single mothers who have never married, around 55% are either divorced, separated or widowed. Half have one child, 30% have two.

IT’S A CRIME….   According to the National Institute of Health

Depression disproportionately affects women. Nearly twice as many women are likely to be affected by depression – estimates show that 5.8% of men but 9.5% of women worldwide will experience a depressive episode in any given year Empirical studies also show high prevalence of depression in single mothers


Big food chains, like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Hardees, Burger King and A&W have approximately 15,000 restaurants each.

McDonald’s stores serve more than 50 million people everyday. When you add in all of the other fast food places, more than 600 million people around the world are eating fast food every day.

The average fast food meal costs $5 before taxes. Considering 600 million people are buying an average meal a day, we are talking $3 billion per day in turnover.


Unemployment in 2013

The long-term unemployed rate for all women was 37.2% in June, 2013 and while the statistic is not available for single mothers, one can conclude that if even a percentage of the long-term unemployed are single mothers, they are suffering greatly.

The subgroup of single mothers in particular, still suffers from high rates of joblessness: According to a July 2013 National Women’s Law Center report, “The June 2013 unemployment rate for single mothers (10.7 percent) was lower than their rate in June 2009 (11.7 percent, [when the recession began]), but nearly 1.6 times higher than their rate in December 2007 (6.9 percent)

Walk With Jennifer, AWAREmed, Dr. Dalal Akoury



Walk With Jennifer, Lose Weight, Gain Health


Choosing the High Road to Health Instead…

(Ladyjustice interviewed a friend, known to LJ for approximately three years.)

Profile: Jennifer Harkey is a 42 year old single mother, living in South Carolina, subsisting in a situation of long-term unemployment, living in poverty and suffering a variety of health issues. The “bright spot” in this scenario is that Jennifer long ago decided to make the right choice to further her education and just obtained a degree as a certified Medical Assistant.

However, a degree is not a “cure all,” as Jenn soon learned.  How does one compete in the competitive health care world, right out the gate when you are “40 something”, and not exactly a poster woman for good health??  That is only one of the difficult realities and hard questions posed ….

The larger question at hand is why do this?… Why “put herself out there to the masses?” After all, Jennifer is NOT a Hollywood celebrity, capable of using her wealth for the benefit of others….     In LJ’s opinion, Jennifer has the potential to convey a MORE POWERFUL message to the masses, for she truly is “just like so many others” struggling just to maintain.  Therein lays her power… if she realizes it…,.  Sure …it’s embarrassing, Sure…. it’s hurtful… Sure…. she would prefer to keep her mistakes private. However, she has chosen the high road to health instead!

{Ladyjustice hopes that you will read this interview with an open mind and NEVER say “that can’t be me”…. for we are all just one French fry away from disaster  if we don’t pay attention and heed Jenn’s message. She’s doing it…one day at a time… )


Q: What kind of challenges are you dealing with that negatively impact your quality of life?  

A: …  “ High blood pressure, high cholesterol, not being able to breathe, not being able to walk for any length of time, clothes not fitting, being uncomfortable ( But it is all getting better now!)”

Q: How long have you been dealing with these issues? Which ones are long standing versus new? 

A: “I have been dealing with weight issues for 20 years.  The issues I have been having that just came about in the last 2 years are the high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and not breathing right.”

Q: Which challenges are the most difficult currently?

A: “Currently the most challenging is employment and not fitting into clothes.”

Q: Can you identify when and under what circumstances they developed?

A: “Most of my weight issues came about from bad relationships, and poor choices in food and boredom.”

Q: In the past, how did you attempt to cope with your problems?

A: “I would get stressed and I would eat. I would get bored and eat , then I would just overeat because something tasted good.”

Q: Did you have a “hit bottom” experience that made you want to change? 

A: I hit bottom a long time ago when my clothes started not fitting well. I would do something simple like walk across my house and be out of breath. I would also just be sitting on the couch and be out of breath.   It was incredibly scary. I would think,  “Gosh, I haven’t even done anything at all. Why am I breathing so hard?” Then I would think to myself, “I have to do something about this or I will die!” I was enrolled my clinical classes. My blood pressure was pretty high which was also scary. At the time,  when my instructor made me go to the doctor and get on medicine to address the problem.”

Q: What is your greatest fear?  What is your greatest joy?

A: “My greatest fear is to die before its time because of poor choices that I have made.  My greatest joy is my children and my wonderful family.”

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you have learned from your mistakes thus far?

A: “That you eat to sustain life, and to portion and make better choices in food, and to keep moving or you will only get worse.”

Q: What was your prognosis if you continued down the same path?

A: “Most certainly an early death, depression getting bigger more depressed about that. It’s a downward spiral”

Q: Describe how your life has changed in the past few weeks…

A “I feel so much better!!  I’ve lost 15 lbs. and  almost 30 inches overall. (as of Oct. 14, 2013) I’ve been walking  and I can breathe.  My blood pressures  is way down with no medicine to bring it down. That’s a miracle in itself.  My clothes are getting too big for me  (Yippee!) And…. I have a more positive outlook on life!

Q: Describe your long term plan for change with Dr. Dalal Akoury…   What does it consists of?

A:   “My plan is to lose weight and to coach others about this weight loss.  We want to write a book and develop a strong weight loss program to help others who are going through the same thing as me.”

Q: In which of the following areas do you feel you have made positive changes… or hope to do so… Physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, other? 

A:I hope to look better as well feel better which will help with any emotional issues I may have.  I am also working on trying to be more positive about life and how to deal with what is thrown at me.”

Q: You have recently graduated as a certified medical assistant. How does that make you feel and what are your future plans in using this knowledge?

A: “I feel great about graduating and getting my certifications, I hope to utilize them with a great job in my chosen field.”

Q: What-Who has been your support system in the past and currently?

A: “My family and close friends has always been my greatest supporters in everything I do.”

Q: What has been the best outcome to date that you did not expect? 

A: “Losing almost 30 overall inches in 3 weeks, that’s insane” LOL

Q: How far are you willing to go to keep progressing?  (i.e. Would you consider changing cities, other jobs, and schools for your son etc.?)

A:  “I would consider changing cities or jobs if the price is right.  However, for the most part, I don’t want to uproot my son from his school and his friends that he has been with since he was two years old. I have also considered maybe furthering my education even more.”

Q: How do you react now when you have times of weakness and you want to return to your former bad habits?

A: “I haven’t really had any times of weakness yet, right now I am trying to have a one track mind and be completely focused so that I will succeed.”

Q: What is your plan to sustain your tremendous progress to date?

A: “My plan is to be completely focused, to eat right, exercise everyday and follow Dr. Akoury’s instructions.”

Q: How do you think your experience can make an impact on others?

A: “Using the customized program created by Dr. Akoury, I think that others can see how she has helped me to change my life. In particular, she has not only inspired me to lose weight for the sake of looking better, but she has also shown me the importance of  embracing better health.”


Wow!  This self-examination speaks volumes in terms of how Jennifer Harkey has matured, evolved and blossomed (not in size), BUT in her perspective and taking on a larger vision and purpose to help others… We wish her much continued success!

It is not our role to judge anyone or their choices in this life… for those who would   ”throw stones” could some day be stoned themselves….

For More Information:

Walk With Jennifer and how you can support the campaign to better health for Jennifer  and Everyone go to:

(Donations gratefully accepted)




OBESITY…and Other Bad Habits … It’s a CRIME and Punishable by DEATH if YOU Don’t Take Control…



Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive ….

Dying to Live, Amy Susan Crohn, ImaginePublicity,Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

John Travolta’s character, (Tony Manero) In Saturday Night Fever was a carefree Brooklyn youth and dance idol on the weekends. His “star qualities” assisted him in temporarily forgetting the reality of his life: (i.e. a go nowhere job, conflicts with bickering parents, racial tensions in his community, and his “too cool, macho” friends.)

“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life’s goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
Stayin’ alive….”


Amy Susan Crohn had her own Italian Stallion, Will, who stood vigil, was a devoted husband and gave Amy the fortitude to stay alive….

Constance Porter, a sophisticated magazine writer – photographer was in charge of the ship’s log in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 movie, Lifeboat.  “Providing she could show the copyright in all publications…”   The lifeboat held eight survivors following a Nazi torpedo attack. NOTICE THE FACT THAT CONNIE DRAGGED HER TYPEWRITER ON A LIFEBOAT!!! [Ladyjustice thinks that Amy Susan Crohn would have done the same thing…After all a girl has to make a living…life boat or no life boat!] Everyone has to STAY ALIVE!  See the classic trailer:

Such is the essence of life…whether real or imagined….. In Amy’s case, it was almost too tragic to be real…. But it was…. And…. make no mistake…her book, “Dying to Live; Running Backwards through Cancer, Lupus and Chronic Illness,” is definitely not just another tragic real life drama… for it has deep roots in medical research. Amy was the one to excavate information and innovate…. linking childhood deprivation and abuse to adulthood disease and chronic illness, in addition to the possibility of premature death…   Why is no one talking about this? Why don’t MDs know?

The “Shattered Lives” team, with Amy as guest, set out to make others aware of the emotional toll, and what “professional patients” and doctors need to do as soon as possible!

                    LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

  • Delilah on “Shattered Lives,” a radio show to learn from… as in life;
  • Introduction to our guest and her book;
  • Page 122:  “A medical rollercoaster” ;
  • Amy’s description of her journey – Stage Four Cancer and Lupus…. Close to Death…. And… the Aftermath that goes with it;
  • “The Statue” – A visualization…an alter ego, a barometer…
  • The need for bravery and doubt in the face of tragedy and chronic illness…;
  • The W’s…. What who, where, when, how, ….
  • Delilah asks, What compelled Amy to write her book?; Expressions of healing…
  • Ladyjustice’s  “aha” moments… matching her life and medical experiences with Amy’s;
  • A lawsuit …and no chance of winning;
  • A doctor without integrity…. “A MA…stake”
  • Delilah asks about Amy’s opinion on the care that is doled out versus the care that we really deserve?
  • The “Dear Doctor” story….  “Work with me….”
  • The “Horror” of being prepared;
  • Amy’s hope starting with Grand Rounds;
  • Ladyjustice asks about the important elements (i.e. the Ace Study-Adverse Childhood Experiences);
  • For over 20 years if  maltreated or suffered  trauma as a child, patients have an 87% likelihood of developing  physical, and psychological – psychiatric illness as an adult;
  • Question types discussed on the ACE;
  • Amy’s score on the test…
  • What’s the Resiliency Survey about?  Amy discusses other prerequisites needed;
  • If you have a score of one on the ACE, is it important?
  • Ladyjustice speculates on resiliency and premature death;
  • Amy discusses the  many difficulties of revealing your illness when you’re sick;
  • A discussion of toxic stress- trauma and “the roller coaster ride”
  • You want to get on with your life and not  have physicians “just treat the symptoms…”
  • Amy’s opinion on diseases of heredity and those we acquire “randomly;”
  • Coping with stress…. Bolstering the immune system;
  • Descriptions of Amy’s Mom and Dad…. What were the issues and how to deal?
  • Crying for help… but who listened?
  • Ladyjustice comments on the importance of having a home and her multitude of jobs to survive;
  • Delilah comments on Amy’s fortitude, her lack of nurturing childhood and losing it all….  She asks, “What did you gain?”
  • “The After Cancer Amy;” and “Earth is a School” according to Amy;
  • A sad commentary on her mother and father’s lives;
  • “When I don’t feel good, I really doubt myself…. “
  • Working for TV Cable Week – Amy’s gift and solace;
  • Foster parenting – a retrospective comment on what it was like then and now regarding child protective services;
  • Ladyjustice’s AMA vision for Amy;
  • ***Amy’s special message for a relative who made it all worth it….“the greatest gift”
  • Amy’s Contact Info:;
  • Amy’s Parting Message:  “We Don’t Cause our Own Illnesses….We Are Vessels… All things that come into out mind, body and soul are put there for a reason …..”

Questions You May Have…

  • What’s the difference between a misdiagnosis and a “missed diagnosis” and how did this pertain to Amy?
  • Of what value is “the Statue?”
  • What was the result of Amy’s doubting of her treatment plan?
  • How did Amy defy the authority of her initial Primary Care Physician, “Dr. C”?
  • What was the aftermath of the medical malpractice lawsuit – similar to the one on side effects of Xarelto or not that longlasting?
  • What was the outcome of the advice of Amy’s initial physicians?
  • Unfulfilled promises led to what kind of important patient tool?
  • How can we make doctors care about the entire patient instead of “check  the box” items?
  • Where is further research being conducted regarding ACE?
  • What is the benchmark score that would predict the likelihood of adult illnesses?
  • What happens after the ACE Study?
  • What populations were tested with the ACE Survey and what are the implications?
  • What’s the Number 1 cause of premature death?
  • Does it really matter what happened for the first 18 years of your life?
  • Do we cause all of our medical problems?
  • What were the family relationships in Amy’s quest for survival?
  • What is the significance of the location of Amy’s tumor?
  • What were the happy things?
  • What was the history of child protective services and the trends today?

Postscript from Ladyjustice:

A very special message-  a 3 minute 57 second video “Her Diamonds” from Rob Thomas who is the songwriter and lead singer of the band Matchbox Twenty, as well as a solo artist who has performed with many other musicians, earning three Grammys co-writing with Carlos Santana on the hit track “Smooth.”   The song, “Her Diamonds”  references his wife Marisol‘s auto-immune disease.

From Wikipedia:

Thomas and his wife Marisol Maldonado married on October 2, 1999 and currently live in Bedford, New York. The couple also have a home on Lake Marion in Manning, South Carolina. Thomas has a son named Maison (born July 10, 1998) from a previous relationship. The Thomases are committed animal lovers and supporters of animal charities.

Rob and his wife have established the Sidewalk Angels Foundation,[9] a non-profit organization created to help needy people in and around America’s big cities by partnering with various charities to assist people who cannot afford medical care, and animals that have been abandoned or abused.

Beautiful composition and interesting coincidences!

‘For you too Amy Susan…


The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.

“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.”

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,”  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 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;
  • 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:
  • 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?