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Double Whammy
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Double Whammy - September 4, 2013, 10:49 PM

Man given heart of suicide victim marries donor's widow and then kills himself in exactly the same way | Mail Online


Man given heart of suicide victim marries donor's widow and then kills himself in exactly the same way

By PAUL THOMPSON

A man who received the transplanted heart of a suicide victim has killed himself in exactly the same way.
And, astonishingly, the same wife is mourning all over again.
Sonny Graham, who had received Terry Cottle's heart, also went on to marry his widow.
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Heart transplant recipient Sonny Graham, pictured with wife Cheryl, commited suicide

The couple met after Mr Graham started writing to her after being told her husband was his heart donor.
Twelve years after the successful transplant operation, Mr Graham shot himself dead, leaving his wife a widow for the second time in strikingly similar circumstances.
Friends said Mrs Graham, a nurse, is stunned by the bizarre turn of events.
Officials in Vidalia, Georgia, said Mr Graham, 69, died after shooting himself in the throat with a shotgun.
He was found in a garage at the home the couple shared.
In 1995, Mr Graham had been on the verge of death due to congestive heart failure.
He had less than six months to live when the call came through from the Medical University of South Carolina, telling him that a heart had just become available.
It belonged to Mr Cottle, 33, who had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Mr Graham went to the hospital from his home nearby and the heart was transplanted that day.
He did not know the identity of the donor, only that the heart belonged to a 33-year-old man.
A year later, Mr Graham contacted the organ donation agency wanting to thank the man's family for the gift of life.
He began writing to Mr Cottle's young widow Cheryl, a mother of four. The couple later met, fell in love, married and moved to Georgia.
Speaking shortly after their wedding, Mrs Graham said: "It helped me so much.
"Meeting Sonny made it easier for me, knowing something so good came from something so bad."
Friends of Mr Graham said he had not shown any signs of being depressed.
Scientists say there are more than 70 documented cases of transplant patients having personality changes as they take on some of the characteristics of the donor.
Last month, a woman from Lancashire claimed her literary tastes changed radically following a kidney transplant.
Cheryl Johnson used to enjoy celebrity biographies and best sellers such as The Da Vinci Code.
But now she prefers classics such as Jane Austen's Persuasion and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
Character changes in transplant recipients are known as cellular memory phenomenon.
However, medical experts are sceptical about the concept and insist there is little convincing evidence





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September 4, 2013, 11:02 PM

cheryl did it. twice.


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September 5, 2013, 12:25 AM

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cheryl did it. twice.
I'm with this guy, but I'll hit dat azz


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September 5, 2013, 06:30 AM

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I'm with this guy, but I'll hit dat azz
You'll kill yourself if you do.....

Memory being stored in organs other than your brain...


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September 5, 2013, 07:32 AM

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You'll kill yourself if you do.....

Memory being stored in organs other than your brain...
I'm quite skeptical as well. However, it is worth pausing for just a moment to consider two things about memory. First, we don't fully understand the underlying mechanisms at all, although yes, the brain seems to be the site of memory based on the effects of traumatic brain injury without concomitant injuries at other sites. Second, we are beginning to understand the role of prion protein in memory. Last year a team of researchers found a role for normal prion protein in zinc management. Abnormally high levels of zinc are associated with Alzheimer's Disease, whereas prion protein seems to participate in regulation of zinc concentrations. It is at least plausible that an organ transplant could introduce novel forms of proteins or alter extant protein levels in the circulation that ultimately alter the protein profile of the brain. I do think it is a large stretch though.

It's important to be cautious yet curious at the same time!



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September 5, 2013, 07:43 AM

I think what's more likely is that the wife is either awful, and drives her men to suicide, or that she did it


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September 5, 2013, 08:02 AM

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I'm quite skeptical as well. However, it is worth pausing for just a moment to consider two things about memory. First, we don't fully understand the underlying mechanisms at all, although yes, the brain seems to be the site of memory based on the effects of traumatic brain injury without concomitant injuries at other sites. Second, we are beginning to understand the role of prion protein in memory. Last year a team of researchers found a role for normal prion protein in zinc management. Abnormally high levels of zinc are associated with Alzheimer's Disease, whereas prion protein seems to participate in regulation of zinc concentrations. It is at least plausible that an organ transplant could introduce novel forms of proteins or alter extant protein levels in the circulation that ultimately alter the protein profile of the brain. I do think it is a large stretch though.

It's important to be cautious yet curious at the same time!
Certainly, for there is no truth without doubt.

I'm not sure that abnormally high levels of zinc contribute to Alzheimer's or abnormally low ones do. Autopsies have shown both to be the case in different deceased patients. Perhaps it is more a zinc balance/management issue that is at play. Progress in this field will do wonders for the quality of life of not only the afflicted, but their loved ones as well.

While I can see a possible ,yet remote chance, that organ transplant could impact influential proteins, the effect would be on current and future memories. What is suggested here is that the transplanted organ supplants existing memories with donor memories. I suspect that is more wishful thinking and a desire to be interesting on the recipients' part.

Nice to see that the woman upped her reading standards though



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