facebook-20160406-105821Hello, my name is Raymond ‘Ray’ Hartle. Welcome to my website!

I’m 57, married to Belinda and the father of Heathcliff and Rebecca. I’m from the Eastern Cape, South Africa. I’m a writer. And a heart transplant recipient.

This site started as a means of sharing with loved ones, friends and associates the story of my journey – through cardiomyopathy, end stage heart disease and heart transplantation. It’s where I spend much of my writing time.

I’ve lived with a weak heart muscle since at least 2007 when I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy – see the details in a related post here – and, possibly, since birth.

However, my condition deteriorated rapidly in 2015 after I contracted a viral infection while traveling. My heart ejection rate was recorded at 10 percent in August 2016 – reflecting end stage heart failure – and doctors proposed a heart transplant be done as soon as possible. I received a donor heart in a transplant procedure on October 11, 2016 at the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town.

I’ve worked in journalism and corporate communications in both the private and public sectors.

Writing remains a first love – this blog is partly to give expression to that, telling my story of the journey to and living with congestive heart failure, and receiving a donor heart. It’s also about sharing knowledge on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, healthcare solutions and the protocols that facilitate or retard them. Much of my story and that of others is deadly serious, but my journey has also been funny and always life-affirming.

The site is also a platform to share about wider health issues especially those linked to heart disease, costs of healthcare, and social support. You’ll find some of my writing on other topical issues here as well. And there’s the odd creative piece.

The public’s need for relevant information is increasingly important in an era of rising mortality rates due to heart illness. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts about a post in the comments section or send me an email.