I recently graduated from my cardiac rehabilitation after my LVAD heart pump surgery. However, the completion of the rehab program does not come with long-lasting benefits. Going home and doing nothing, one would lose fitness in a couple of weeks. So, what next? With the team, we have set up a transition plan and I devised a Cardiac fitness plan – to remain active and exercising.
With the LVAD, I am limited in the activities I may take on, in addition to the intensity I exercise with. Over the past few months, I have been exercising at the gym (once or twice a week) and I practice Vovinam Viet Vo Dao (1 to 3 times a week). For this is the plan I would follow for the near future.
I also started planning for a number of physical goals after the heart transplant. A number of friends run marathons. They have invited me to join them once I am cleared to run again after my heart transplant. Of course, I accepted the challenge. ‘Qui vivra, verra.’
Next, the transplant community has its own ‘Olympic’ games - the World Transplant Games (WTG) an international multi-sport event, occurring every two years, organized by the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF). The next summer games would be in 2019 in Newcastle Gateshead, UK (17 – 24 August 2019).
There is also the TGA (Transplant Games of America), gathering thousands of individuals touched by organ, tissue and corneal donation. The next US games will be held from August 2 - August 7, 2018, in Salt Lake City.
We have our own New England team managed by the Donate Life New England branch. Their aim is to illustrate the life-saving and healing benefits of organ and tissue donation and encourage our communities to register as donors. They educate communities about the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor, help increase the number of designated donors in our communities and honour deceased donors, living donors and donor families and their generous decision to donate life. The team is constituted by athletes from New England, recipients, living donors, donor families and supporting family and friends.
I joined them at their last meeting in October. My hope is to participate in the 2019 WTG and be part of the team for the 2020 TGA. Until then, I would be a supporter – Go Team New England!
I would keep you informed and we look forward to your support during the Games.
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