Contains Recycled Parts

My Triple Organ Transplant Journey and the Science of Gratitude

Aimee Mackovic

Categories: Memoirs

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In this delightful memoir, Aimee Mackovic invites you on a journey that plunges toward death and soars to the highest hopes about life, love, family and the power of gratitude. 

Aimee’s humor and witty insights illuminate the grave reality of her heart, liver and kidney transplants as she shares insights that inspire optimism as an antidote for life’s greatest challenges.

Contains Recycled Parts was released on December 13, 2023, the one-year anniversary of Aimee’s life-saving heart and liver transplant. Order your hardcover and paperback copies here!

  • Full Description

    Aimee Mackovic almost died at least twice. The first time was as a three-year-old, choking on a Life Saver candy, until her mother helped expel it. The second time, as a 40-something English professor and poet, she suffered heart, liver and kidney failure, having just days to live. 

    Then, thanks to the immeasurable kindness of organ donors and extraordinary doctors and nurses, Aimee embarks on a life-saving journey where her family, friends and spiritual beliefs carry her through the physical and emotional trauma of surgeries.

    Now, in her inspiring memoir, CONTAINS RECYCLED PARTS: My Triple Organ Transplant Journey and the Science of Gratitude, she writes:

    A nurse asks me what my pain level is on a scale of one to ten and I thrust both of my hands and all my fingers out and mouth: TEN! My side feels like it has been devoured by a carnivorous beast and my now mangled entrails are on the outside. I mouth to my mom through sobs: 

    “Please get me morphine!”

    Throughout this riveting memoir, Aimee recounts her extraordinary journey surviving a triple transplant—heart, liver, and kidney—narrating her harrowing experiences with humor, gratitude, and unwavering resilience.

    All while she explores the gift of exceptional medical care, the loving support of her family and friends, and deep connections with organ donors and their families. Her inspiring story—which includes journal entries and Facebook posts that chronicle the experience in real time—weaves a rich and inspiring tapestry of science, gratitude, and a lighthearted spirit in the face of life’s gravest challenges.

    This book is a must-read for anyone facing a health crisis, as well as for anyone who loves an engaging, entertaining read that will make you laugh, cry, and cherish life with optimism, love and gratitude.

  • Here is an excerpt from Contains Recycled Parts

    When Dr. Lui tells us that I’m no longer his patient, because I am “no longer a congenital heart defect” patient, it hits us.
    Oh, right! New heart! No more defect!
    The poignancy of this moment takes our breath away. After forty-four years, I now have a new-to-me defect-free heart.
    In truth, I don’t think of the heart as mine. It’s not mine. It is on permanent loan from a selfless soul I desperately wish I could thank in person. Her recycled parts have allowed me, and my family, a second chance.
    There is not a day when I don’t think about my donor and wonder about her. The only thing I can do now is live with purpose.
    ***
    A swirling mix of gratitude and grief flows through (me). It’s a heady thing to reconcile—being alive at the expense of someone else’s death. Many transplant recipients grapple with survivor’s guilt and depression, and I can understand why. Having a transplant brings up all sorts of hugely existential questions and feelings:
    Why am I worthy?
    Why do I get to live when someone else died?
    How can I possibly be deserving?
    I don’t have the answers to any of those questions. I don’t know if there really are any answers. The best I have come up with is to try and live my life in a way that would make my donor proud. It is not uncommon for transplant recipients to have some “survivor’s guilt.” Though I have not much experienced guilt, per say, I do feel a huge sense of responsibility to my donors and their families.

  • Praise for Aimee Mackovic

    “This wonderful book is a remarkable autobiographic tale of the life of a modern heroin, detailing without self-adulation the extent of adaptation, bravery, humility, and utter love of life that allowed a young girl and then young woman, with the help of supporting family and friends as well as a whole hospital staff, to pursue ‘normalcy,’ to the point of requiring the transplantation of her heart, liver, and kidney (‘recycled parts’).

    There is enough detail about her medical/biological limitations to allow non-medical readers to appreciate what she experienced as personal limitations, with important and pertinent insights into the medical care-related challenges facing a very sick patient, for whom the most ‘expansive’ of medical interventions was successfully undertaken. Her lows make you cry and want to run to her side to help, and her highs make you appreciate what modern medicine can actually achieve.”

    —Dr. Randall Vagelos
    Heart Failure Cardiologist
    Professor of Medicine
    Stanford University

    “Aimee’s book is a testament to her strength and resilience—going through not one, but three, organ transplants. Chronicling the story that started with her unwelcomed heart condition at birth, the reader experiences the impact her journey has had on her and her family. Her writing style takes you on a fun and engaging ride through the heavy topic of her transplants and grueling recovery.
    Contains Recycled Parts is a tale of persistence and grit that is relatable to anyone who has gone through a major life struggle, medical or otherwise.”
    —Kristy Sidlar
    Author of Change of Heart

  • Events
    Upcoming Events for Aimee Mackovic

    Book Launch Event
    Sunday, December 17, 2023
    3pm Central
    Freddo ATX
    2336 S Congress
    Austin, TX 78745

    Invite Aimee to Speak

    Aimee Mackovic is available to speak at your organization, company, college, university, support group or event.

    She shares her witty rendition of her grueling journey back to health after heart, liver and kidney transplants, and the insights she’s gleaned about the power of gratitude.

    If you’d like to invite Aimee to speak, please contact Elizabeth at Two Sisters Writing & Publishing® at Elizabeth@TwoSistersWriting.com.