Book Chronicles Ordeal of Artificial Heart Recipient
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A book scheduled to appear in stores this summer should give the public greater insight into the ordeal of William J. Schroeder, the longest-lived recipient of a permanently implanted artificial heart, his family says.
″The Bill Schroeder Story″ was written by his family and Martha Barnette, a Louisville, Ky., freelance writer who covered the Jasper man for The Washington Post.
The book chronicles the 620 days Schroeder lived with the Jarvik-7 heart, from the day he received it Nov. 25, 1984, to his death Aug. 6 in Humana Hospital-Audubon in Louisville.
″We are trying to tell the people out there what we went through,″ said Schroeder’s widow, Margaret. ″Maybe it will help others who might have to make some difficult decisions, ... anyone with a major sickness.″
Ms. Barnette said it took about a year to complete the project, which includes the memories of the retired Army civilian employee’s children.
″The end was hard for me because it brought back so many memories,″ Mrs. Schroeder said.
Ms. Barnette agreed that the most difficult part of the project was writing about Schroeder’s death.
″I know it sounds like a cliche, but the man had an incredible will to live. They never cut out what made him Bill,″ she said Wednesday.
Mrs. Schroeder, who is honorary state chairwoman of the American Heart Association, and her son Mel plan to travel across the country to promote the book, published by William Morrow & Co. Inc.
Some of the proceeds of the book, which will sell for $17.95, will go to the American Heart Association.