The Tale of a Perfusionist’s Thankful Heart by Eileen Heller-Stading CCP

Will I be done with my case before traffic gets really bad??

I have to pick up cranberries on my way home, will there be any left at the store??

I hope I don’t get called into work, I know I’m on call, at least after I serve the turkey..


I’m sure these thoughts and many more have run across your mind in the last several hours

leading up to this holiday of Thanks.  Sometimes, Thanksgiving is all about indulgence,

food, football, and more food.  For some of us it is about how to juggle a house full of friends

and family while the possibility/reality of getting called into work looms…


Might I offer a bit of … Perspective:


Some would think this to be the worst scenario: Everyone is eating, kitchen is a mess,

you just sat down yourself after serving the 20 family members seated around your home…

and you are OFF to the hospital, keys in hand, checking to make sure you have your ID badge.

You think what a mess you will find upon your return home, hopefully the same day….and your mind runs down this path.


I would bet nowhere in your head is the thought that is running through your patient’s spouses’,” OMG will he/she survive today of all days?  What will I do if I loose him/her??”

Most likely the closer you get to the hospital you fall right into your mode of the consummate professional, johnny-on-the-spot, ready with your set up and willing and able to assist anyone else in the OR at a moment’s notice, as you always do to make things go smoother – and yes – to get back home sooner.


Every single family member… of your patient on the OR table in front of you, a spouse, a brother, a sister, Mother, Father, etc..will likely not have the opportunity to thank you for – your expertise – your leaving your family at the dinner table, for your selfless act of time, for your patience, and for choosing and excelling in your field of Extra Corporeal Technology.


…  it IS Thanksgiving… and I will Thank you for them.  We all know how truly thankful they are, always and especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Your Birthday, Mother’s Day etc…


The year 2018 has personally been an extremely trying one for me.  I have lost three friends, way too young. One to suicide, one by car accident and a heart attack, all under 50.

I lost the person closets to me in the world, my Father.  I am recovering from major surgery and my childhood place of worship , my hometown synagogue, was the site of the most recent and most deadly anti-semitic mass shooting in our  country’s history. I vividly recall developing and molding the person I am today in those exact same hallways. The last time I was in that building I was worshiping with my Father.


I mention all this. . . still with Perspective in mind – and Much Thankfulness.

I am thankful for employment, health Insurance, a very supportive immediate family and friends.

I am thankful for my children who bring laughter and joy to my soul.

I am thankful for my community in Pittsburgh as well as my community of Perfusion.

Rather than doom and gloom I choose to see the sun, it is always there- even behind the clouds.


I am grateful for OUR community and Perfmail and with this giving thoughtfulness in mind

let us all try to welcome each other, be respectful more than arrogant and be helpful more than judgmental, to aide and be kind to one another.


There is always so much to be thankful for . . .May you all have a blessed Holiday Season and may 2019

hold loads of laughter and joy for you and all you hold dear!


” Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie*.


Eileen Heller-Stading CCP

*Melody Beattie is one of America’s most beloved self-help authors and a household name in addiction and recovery circles. Her international bestselling book, Codependent No More, introduced the world to the term “codependency” in 1986. In her lifetime, she has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child.

The complete quote from Melody is particularly relevant to perfusionists: “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls. Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don’t.”




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Perfusion Theory is an educational platform for the Oxygen Pressure Field Theory (OPFT). August Krogh’s theoretical concept of the oxygen pressure field is explained and then applied to clinical applications in perfusion practice.

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