Memory Transplants (the Cell Memory phenomenon)

Memory Transplants  (the Cell Memory phenomenon)

Those who receive a transplanted organ may get more than they bargained for. Is may be possible that a transplant brings with it the memories of its donor. These are the bizarre case studies of the recipients of transplanted organs.

Dancer and choreographer Claire Sylvia, was also a health-food nut. She was diagnosed as having pulmonary hypertension, which drastically reduced the size of the arteries in her lungs. In 1988 she received a lung transplant in Connecticut, followed shortly by stark changes in her personality. She took on traits more often associated with males. Her favorite color changed from pink to blue… and she started drinking beer. Claire suddenly felt an urge to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken, where she would order chicken nuggets. She began dreaming of motorcycles, and the initials, “T.L.”.

She decided to investigate her donor. The donor’s initials were T.L., standing for Tim Lamirande. Next Claire visited the survivors of the donor. The Lamirande family confirmed that Tim had been a motorcycle rider, and he loved fast food and beer. After his last day on Earth, inside his jacket pocket were found, a handful of chicken nuggets.

William Wohl of Arizona was fat and constantly short of breath. He was working twelve hour days in the office. At the age of 52 his weakened heart, needed a transplant. Following surgery, his life took an turn for the better. He soon dropped eighty pounds of excess weight. As he exercised, he would listen to the music of the British soul artist, Sade, of whom he had never even heard, before his operation. William went on to compete at swimming, cycling and running, earning dozens of medals at triathlon events around the globe, including the U.S. Transplant Games. After tracking down information on his donor, Brady Michaels, he realized he might have inherited parts of Brady’s personality. Brady was a very athletic man. His occupation, was Hollywood stuntman. Also, he was a huge fan of Sade.

There is a rare group of people who who more than one transplant. Cheryl Johnson of Preston, England, has received two kidneys, and she believes that as a result, her personality has changed twice. Her first kidney transplant took place in 2001. That’s when her nature turned from serene to aggressive, her temper growing short. However the first operation did not take, and after receiving her second kidney, as she was no longer hot-headed, and Cheryl’s reading habits changed. Instead of pulp romantic fiction, she now wanted to read only high-brow classics, such as “Persuasion” by Jane Austen, and “Crime and Punishment”, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. As the privacy of her donors was protected, she was never able to match these changes in her temperament, with the personalities of her donors.

Hepatitis C damages the liver. Compared to the general population, health care workers are twice as likely to contract Hep C, from the patients they are trying to help. An emergency room physician in Michigan, Dr. Michael Hagan, had an accidental needle stick, which infected him with the virus. As his own organ approached failure, he hat to wait two years for a liver donor. Working in the ER, the doctor had trained himself to keep his emotions to himself. After the transplant, he became so emotional, that he could not keep himself from crying in a movie theater. While he never before had tried an avocado, he was now eating one every day. He also now had a continuous craving for blueberry yogurt.

Doctor Hagan’s donor was Shamika Bliss. After reaching out to her family, he learned that she loved to eat avocados, as well as blueberry yogurt. Her father expressed his thanks that his daughter’s spirit by some miracle had survived. “You will be in our prayers,” he told Hagan. The doctor was also told by Mr. Bliss, that Shamika was quite fond of crying at the movies.

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