Heart transplant recipient repeats suicide act of donor

In a bizarre turn of events a man given the heart of suicide victim has now committed suicide in the same manner; even more bizarre is that he had been married to the donor's widow for over a decade.

The man, Sonny Graham, had been twelve years ago at death's door because of congestive heart failure.

He was given the heart of suicide victim Terry Cottle and later went on to marry his widow.

Mr Graham started corresponding with Mrs Cheryl Cottle, a mother of four, following the operation after being told her husband was his heart donor.

Twelve years after the successful transplant operation, 69 year old Graham shot himself dead, leaving the woman a widow for the second time in circumstances which bear a sinister similarity.

The woman now Mrs Graham, is a nurse living in Georgia, in the U.S. and is said to be devastated; Mr Graham, 69, died after shooting himself in the throat with a shotgun and was found in a garage at the home the couple shared.

Mr Cottle, 33 had committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Friends of the couple say Mr Graham 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 which are known as cellular memory phenomenon.

Medical experts however are skeptical about the concept and say there is little convincing evidence to support such a phenomena.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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