I was fascinated by Second Ticket To The Dance, it is not everyday that you read someone’s story about the trials and tribulations of being a heart transplant recipient. The review can be found here. Alan tells his story in a very unique way, Second Ticket To The Dance is really three books in one. His life before the transplant and his realization that his life was likely to end very soon, he had been fitted with a device to kick start his heart if the rhythm became irregular, oh, do not confuse this with a pacemaker, this was a ‘crash cart’ that packed a wallop! When it zapped him 9 times in the space of an hour he knew that time was running out.

Part two explores his post surgery experiences. We are not talking about the constant medical issues, we are talking about the two way flow of support that he found himself involved in. Some simple emails started what can best be described as a ‘news group’, and many of those posts are included in Second Ticket To The Dance.

The final part of the book explores the relationship that Alan Kalmanoff has entered into with the parents of the heart donor, a 21 year old man who died in an automobile accident.

I had the opportunity to talk to Alan Kalmanoff, an opportunity that I could not pass up on. I like to interview interesting people and Alan fits the bill!

The transplant occurred four years ago, Alan is now 67 years old, but he is still working hard. When I asked him why, he responded with:

Remember, my heart is only 24

Now that shows the grit and determination of this man.

Although he no longer has to turn up at the hospital on a daily basis he still has to take a regime of drugs that would make my head spin, 50 a day. There are drugs to suppress his immune system to prevent rejection, drugs to lower his blood pressure, drugs to counteract the side effects of the other drugs, and drugs to replace the loss of minerals and vitamins that the other drugs cause!

You can listen to the entire interview here.

On a personal note, I enjoyed talked with Alan a great deal, this is a man that has faced adversity, and has indeed found a Second Ticket To The Dance.

Simon Barrett

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