A Heart Transplant Survivor Story

“This book is a must-read for patients, families, and medical teams
dealing with long-term illness, surgery, and recovery.”

—Roland Montemayor, M.A., Marriage and Family Counselor

“An amazing element in Darla’s story is a prevailing sense of humor that allows her to get beyond her personal pain and find a funny moment—even at her own expense. Whether she is calling herself a P.T. Barnum sideshow freak at a medical meeting or an LVAD Barbie among fellow patients, Darla’s heroic struggle is both an inspiration and proof that the will to live is the greatest medicine of all.”

Anna Wilcoxson
Author of the Secrets and Promises Series

“As an advanced practice nurse who specializes in critical care, I believe patients and their loved ones, as well as healthcare professionals, will benefit from reading this humorous tale of life and death. There are so few resources available to recommend to patients who are experiencing life-threatening illness, and I am pleased to be able to share this book.”

—Rebecca Long, MS, RN, CNS
Former Chairman of the American Association

of Critical Care Nurses Certification Board


Darla Calvet is a thirty-nine-year-old working mom whose life turns upside down when she is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Suddenly, fear threatens her dreams for the future as doctors’ appointments replace her daily routines and she realizes she may not live to see her daughters grow up. After dying twice while waiting for a new heart, Darla begins to understand her own resiliency—her heart may be weak, but her mind refuses to give up.

My Life in Stitches: A Heart Transplant Survivor Story is a candid, witty account of one woman’s determination to transform a devastating prognosis into an inspiring fight for survival. Darla’s story offers insight into the complex world of medicine with a dose of humor about her challenges and victories as a heart transplant patient.

In this sensitive, thorough, and informative debut, Calvet brings compassion and gentle wisdom to a difficult subject in hopes of demystifying the uncertainties that inevitably accompany long-term, life-threatening medical decisions.

Purchase the book now!

I am Dr. Darla Calvet, and of all the things I have accomplished in my life, being a heart transplant survivor is my biggest achievement. I am now almost nine years out of transplant, and thanks to my donor and amazing medical team, I am feeling better than ever. 

Transplant of any kind is a long, arduous journey with many ups and downs. Often during this journey, I felt alone and wanted to connect with other survivors. With this in mind, I wrote My Life In Stitches to help others who find themselves on the road to transplant. It takes an entire village to get someone through transplant.  Some of my toughest moments came after my surgery was over and I had to rebuild my life. 

My hope is that my story will inspire you and help you or a loved one to cope with this process. I am often asked what helped me during this journey. My faith, family and friends were definitely my support system. And let’s not forget about a wicked sense of humor for those days when there is so much to deal with that laughter is the best medicine. I hope you enjoy My Life in Stitches and that you will drop me a line with your thoughts. 

—Dr. Darla Calvet