A Heart Transplant Survivor Story
Date Published: December 12, 2023
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
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.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting this
book published? How did you come up with the idea and how did you start?
After I survived my heart transplant surgery, I immediately
wanted to help others on this path. I attended a Writer’s Conference in Los
Angeles and learned about the different publishing options. I liked the Acorn
Publishing approach, so I went with them.
They have been great and I’m happy with the results.
What surprised you most about getting your book published?
I think I was most surprised that the general population
would be interested in my heart transplant journey. I thought the book would have a niche market
with other patients, but it appears that everyone seems to be interested in it.
Tell us a little about what you do when you aren’t writing
I do work as a grant writer for nonprofits and own a
boutique consulting business. It is a nice balance with my writing career. I
also hang out with my French Bulldog Quinnie and my husband Pat.
As a published author, what would you say was the most
pivotal point of your writing life?
First, publishing my dissertation for my PhD.
Second, getting accepted as an author with Acorn Publishing
Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that
Usually when I wake up in the morning. I must give great
coffee the honors for getting my brain going.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
When I first started writing, I joined a writer’s group with
some cranky old men who wrote westerns. They did not understand my message or
purpose in writing my transplant memoir.
They seemed bored and uninterested in the book, which hurt me greatly. I
kept going anyway!
What has been your best accomplishment as a writer?
Getting a five star review with my debut book, My Life in
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
None at present but I am about to begin my next book
soon. It’s addicting!
About the Author
A heart transplant survivor, Dr. Darla Calvet won a gold medal for ballroom dance in the 2022 Transplant Games of America. Currently, she serves as the vice president of the board of directors for the Southern California Transplant Games of America team. She is also the CEO of Blue Tiger, Inc., a strategic planning consultancy. A doctor of education, Calvet holds degrees from Claremont Graduate University, San Diego State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband Pat and their French bulldog Quinn, and she is the proud mom of two adult daughters, Claire and Annie.
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