Participants: Dr. James Marcum (Host), Joe Meyers
Series Code: BRX
Program Code: BRX00008B
00:01 Welcome back to Bible Rx.
00:03 We have been talking today to Joe Myers.
00:06 He has received a brand-new heart and he is
00:09 sharing some of his insights with us today.
00:12 Joe I would like to go through some questions.
00:15 We have received questions from literally all over
00:18 the United States and world.
00:19 I think you are uniquely qualified to
00:21 answer some of these.
00:22 Let's answer some of these questions, the first one
00:24 is from Megan in Maine.
00:26 And Megan asked this question.
00:47 How did you cope when you were "on the list"?
00:49 Well I really put my
00:52 trust in God and I
00:54 left it up to Him.
00:56 So I really didn't have any
00:58 worries, I wasn't bitter about my situation at all.
01:03 I really turned it all over to Him.
01:06 You know Joe there is a lot of people that aren't able
01:09 to be as fortunate as you are and don't get on a list.
01:12 For them I always let them know that God still heals
01:15 in different ways.
01:17 God has different plans for different people.
01:19 So we want to encourage Megan to put your trust in God.
01:25 Let's go to another question.
01:26 This is from John in Arizona.
01:34 John would like to know how he could help others in case
01:37 he should, how would a person get on a donor list?
01:40 Contact usually his hospital will tell him.
01:43 They will put him in touch with the donor group there.
01:48 He can get his name on the donor list.
01:50 You know even on the computer now, if you can type in
01:53 Google heart transplant and they will come up with.
01:56 There is people all over that are looking for these.
01:59 From what I understand it is not that hard to get
02:01 on a donor list.
02:03 No and you have to really make sure that you sign up,
02:07 so if anything happens to you, and you do pass away,
02:12 you're wishes are maintained.
02:16 So you need to do it legally.
02:18 I guess your heart, how old, do you know anything about
02:22 the person that gave the heart to you?
02:24 Yes, the understanding was she was around 22 years old.
02:29 Evidently she had gone through this process, or her
02:33 family did of making that, what a gift.
02:36 What a gift of life!
02:37 I wonder have you been able to be in contact with that
02:41 family, or do you feel a bond?
02:43 No, one of the things we found out is that the families
02:47 usually get in touch with the donor association after
02:51 some time when the healing takes place of
02:55 a loss loved one.
02:56 I think in this particular case, this was a pretty
03:00 difficult experience and so they have not gotten
03:03 in touch with the donor group.
03:06 I haven't really tried to press it because usually we
03:10 wait for the family first.
03:12 So you really don't know anything more than the age
03:15 and the sex of the person?
03:17 Right, right!
03:18 Let's go to another question.
03:19 This question says.
03:26 How do you feel inside?
03:28 I don't feel any differently, none.
03:30 Everything you feel is just the same now?
03:33 Oh I kid some people about it.
03:34 When they found out I had a young ladies heart
03:38 and they introduced me, they said you have to be
03:41 careful because he'll tissue on the cheek instead of
03:44 shaking your hand.
03:45 That has nothing to do with it.
03:48 I have no other feelings other than what I always have.
03:51 I suppose your energy level and some of those things
03:55 your old heart couldn't do, the new heart can do?
04:00 Well I believed it when they told me that I really
04:04 needed to take care of it, so I have been exercising three
04:07 days a week for 11 years.
04:09 For 11 years.
04:10 Now you have been working hard to keep the heart healthy.
04:13 I know you have to exercise a lot, but are you still
04:16 taking medicines to prevent rejection?
04:19 And you have to remember to take those, don't you?
04:21 Now how often do they evaluate and look things over?
04:24 Do they see you pretty often?
04:26 Now I have been, since I've had my transplant so long,
04:30 they do it annually, once a year.
04:32 But they used to do it about every several months to
04:38 take and see if there was any rejection.
04:41 I had none, I have never had any rejection.
04:44 That is a testimony in itself so.
04:46 Gods really, we talked about the odds earlier, just the
04:50 odds of not having rejection are pretty remarkable too.
04:53 That's pretty remarkable.
04:54 So to answer that question, you don't feel anything
04:58 different, it feels about the same?
05:01 The next question says.
05:08 Let's say you didn't get a heart Joe.
05:09 Let's say God would have decided it was your time.
05:12 What are some of the things that you have experienced
05:14 over the last 10 or 11 years that you would not have
05:17 if you would not have had this heart?
05:18 I guess there are two things, family is the main thing
05:22 But probably the most important thing for me has been
05:26 spiritual growth.
05:28 My relationship with other men.
05:31 We have a very strong men's group in
05:37 Chattanooga Tennessee, a Christian Businessmen Committee.
05:40 I have been involved with that for the last 20 years.
05:45 It has really grown, and I has seen some wonderful
05:49 things happened that God has done.
05:51 I would not have been able to experience those had I
05:55 not been here, and I am very grateful for that time.
05:58 Do you think, I know every one appreciates the time that
06:01 God gives, if it's a talent God gives everyone a certain
06:05 amount of time.
06:06 Do you think it you appreciate your time more than any
06:08 one else does, because you have gone through this
06:10 tremendous experience?
06:12 I do not take things for granted that I used to.
06:17 Yes, incidents, family situations, loved ones,
06:22 I do not take for granted.
06:24 Now you were an older recipient of a heart.
06:27 I was the oldest at Vanderbilt.
06:30 Now after you got the heart, how long did it take you
06:34 to get back to your lifestyle?
06:36 I assumed you had quit working at that point, right?
06:39 How long did it get you to get back to feeling normal
06:43 so you could pursue some of these interests?
06:45 I'd say about 90 days.
06:47 90 days and you got up and running!
06:49 Good, good, good, okay lets go to another question.
06:52 Oh this is a good question.
07:01 How is this getting a new heart affected you spiritually?
07:06 It makes me very well aware that if there was any
07:11 question that there was a personal God, it went away
07:15 and my transplant.
07:17 I never had any question, but there ever was one,
07:22 because without God it would have been impossible
07:25 for me to get that transplant.
07:27 The odds were too incredible.
07:29 I came in one day to get some tests done at Vanderbilt.
07:34 One of the doctors walks by and said Joe,
07:38 I saw your heart today, that was strange.
07:40 So another doctor walks by and he said Joe,
07:43 I saw your heart today.
07:44 So I go in to see the doctor and she said,
07:48 how are you feeling?
07:50 I'm feeling fine but what are these questions I got
07:53 in the lobby?
07:54 She said, what is that?
07:56 The doctors said, Joe I saw your heart today.
07:58 What are they talking about?
08:00 She said well we had an in-service workshop and
08:06 they chose the worst case cardiac myopathy heart they
08:10 had ever seen, and it was your heart.
08:11 Oh wow, so they really did see your heart?
08:15 Now you were relating to me a story from the Bible.
08:18 An Esther story.
08:20 Yes I can really relate to that.
08:21 One of my favorite books in the Old Testament,
08:24 is the book of Esther.
08:25 Haman was going to kill, have the Jews eliminated.
08:31 God worked in an amazing way, He had Esther, the Queen,
08:39 come in to see the king and there were 12 situations
08:42 that happened in a row that were almost impossible
08:46 without God's hand in it, to save the Jews.
08:51 Esther is coming to see the king.
08:54 The two banquets.
08:55 Mordecai, the king could not sleep so he said to bring
09:00 in the records and he starts looking at the records.
09:04 He said did we do anything for Mordecai, Esther's uncle?
09:08 Who saved my life because the two eunuchs were going to
09:11 assassinate me? No! We are going to do it tomorrow.
09:14 Take my robe and my ring and Haman will lead him
09:18 through a ticker parade.
09:19 Haman was going to kill the Jews and
09:21 Mordecai was the guy first on his list.
09:24 I'm thinking to myself, You are an awesome God.
09:31 What were the odds of that happening?
09:33 There were 479 million to one.
09:37 Very similar to the odds in your case.
09:40 You know we see all types of healing, and I talked to
09:44 people from all over that are healed in different ways.
09:46 I can see that God heals through modern medicine.
09:49 Getting you a heart was very modern medicine.
09:52 But God can heal in so many other different ways.
09:56 As these stories in the Bible goes, God wants to heal
09:59 our spiritual hearts as well as our physical hearts.
10:03 Joe, just out of my curiosity, I have taken care of
10:06 people that had transplants before, but what was some
10:08 of the most difficult things going through the medical
10:11 process that you went through?
10:14 I know the paperwork, the waiting in line, but what are
10:18 some of the things you found in "the system" was most
10:22 difficult for you?
10:23 I would say getting my strength back was the main thing
10:25 It take me awhile.
10:27 Until I was able to get back to where I believed
10:32 I should be, where I used to be.
10:34 Because I have always been very active.
10:36 So that was very difficult for me.
10:41 That was one of the harder things?
10:42 Did it bother you that they frequently have to go
10:45 through the biopsies and going up there a lot, and
10:48 standing in line, filling out paperwork, and waiting
10:52 in line for medications, it is a big process you
10:54 have to go through.
10:56 Thank God for the fellowship that I had in Chattanooga,
11:01 because they will not give you a transplant unless you
11:06 have a lot of support from family and friends.
11:09 So when they had the meeting to determine whether
11:11 they are going to put you on the list are not to find
11:14 out whether you have support, you have a meeting.
11:17 You have to go to the meeting there and you take your
11:20 family and so forth.
11:21 So when I went up there, there were about five or six
11:25 car loads of men from CBMC plus my family.
11:29 Oh wow!
11:30 They could not believe it, they had to get a small room,
11:33 go to the auditorium because they could not hold the
11:37 meeting in the room they normally did.
11:39 So I had tremendous support, and it was really special.
11:44 I'm glad you are here sharing today because there is
11:49 some whose other medical conditions that need to know
11:53 that it is important to have family and friends.
11:55 Oh, it is very, very important.
11:57 Now I know I has seen your story featured in different
12:02 newspapers, with different articles.
12:03 If you had to share one thing with all those people
12:07 that might need healing out there, from your experience
12:10 of going through a transplant, receiving a new heart,
12:13 after seeing how God beats all these odds,
12:15 what would you want to share with our audience today?
12:20 Well I would like to share pretty much what Job shared.
12:25 He said I came naked from my mother's womb.
12:28 God gave me everything I had and it was His to take away.
12:33 Blessed be the name of the Lord.
12:35 He said even if He slays me, I will trust Him.
12:39 I think that is the key for me.
12:41 I've learned to trust Him no matter what.
12:46 How has that trust been growing?
12:48 I know you have been active in Bible studies and prayer
12:51 in men's groups.
12:52 I can help other people, and that is really
12:54 what I like to do.
12:55 To help other men who are going through difficult times
12:59 and God seemingly seems to put people in my path.
13:03 That's fantastic!
13:05 Well how are you feeling today Joe?
13:06 I mean how is your health today after 11 years?
13:09 Good, well what the medication I take, Cyclosporine,
13:14 is very tough on the kidneys.
13:16 Now that is a medicine to prevent rejection, right?
13:18 It's a medicine to prevent rejection.
13:20 It really is tough on the kidneys, but it is a catch
13:25 22, I have to take it so I have to be careful about
13:29 my kidney functions.
13:32 Sometimes they get some swelling in the legs,
13:34 but they work on that with I have to drink lots of water.
13:41 Each just that I'm careful about what I do.
13:45 But you are not in pain anymore?
13:47 Not in pain, no.
13:48 Tell me Joe, what makes you happy, what brings you joy?
13:52 I know you like to serve other people and serve God.
13:55 What makes a joyful? Going to the park!
13:59 What brings joy to your heart?
14:01 What I have to do today is that no matter what I do,
14:04 I don't wake up in a bad mood.
14:06 I am very happy, every morning that I wake up
14:10 and see a new day.
14:12 When it is time for me to go, I'm ready to go.
14:17 That's a great attitude.
14:18 You know in the Bible there is a text and it says,
14:20 a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
14:23 I think the more people laugh and are happy,
14:25 the more they feel well.
14:27 Now I am sure that you went through other,
14:29 when you were going through this process of being
14:32 on a transplant list and waiting around, there were
14:34 other people you got to know personally.
14:35 Did you get to meet some people that might not have
14:38 been as fortunate as you were?
14:41 Yes, I met some people in our cardiac rehabilitation.
14:44 Be young man that received a heart and the fact that you
14:47 have received a transplant does it mean that everything
14:50 is going to be rosy and okay.
14:55 He lasted about a little over a year
14:57 before he passed away.
14:59 Now did he have the new heart?
15:00 Yeah he had a new heart.
15:01 But that did not guarantee okay! Right!
15:05 What's, I know that you are involved in a support group
15:11 that have transplants. Yes!
15:13 What's the longest in that support group that you have
15:16 seen a heart last? 16, 16 years.
15:19 Then the shortest, I guess, would have been this one?
15:22 Yeah! Because there is really no
15:23 guarantees is there? No!
15:24 Will this is exciting topic and I am just glad you were
15:28 able to share some of your spiritual insights
15:31 with us today Joe.
15:32 I know it is hard to take all those medicines and go to all
15:35 those trips to the doctors and do those exercises.
15:39 Well I have had a lot of support from my wife.
15:42 My wife is a former RN.
15:44 She has been incredibly supportive.
15:47 I have forgot to ask, do you have kids, have a family?
15:48 Yes! Are they all grown up now?
15:50 Yes! Three children.
15:52 Any grandchildren?
15:53 Yes! seven.
15:54 So I guess those years you got the experience with those?
15:57 Yes! It is interesting how God heals.
16:00 And you are a life He decided to heal now.
16:02 Other people He decides to heal at other times.
16:05 This is a very exciting story.
16:07 We want to thank you for joining us today and we have just talked
16:11 a few minutes but Joe Myers who received a heart transplant.
16:15 What an inspiring story it is to know that you can be healed.
16:19 If you have any health-related questions that you would like
16:23 us to answer please jot us a line at:
16:37 So we want to thank Joe Myers for being with us today.
16:40 Joe your testimony has been tremendous.
16:43 I am sure that others have got a blessing to know someone,
16:47 actually hear someone that has a brand-new heart.
16:48 You know God is going to give us a new heart someday.
16:50 A spiritual heart as well as a physical heart.
16:53 You have got a physical heart but I am looking forward
16:56 to the spiritual heart too.
16:57 So am I.
16:59 Thank you for joining us today.
17:01 I hope you can join us next time on Bible RX.