Becoming an organ donor is a great way to help out a person in the event of one’s death. A study has shown, however, that sometimes donor recipients take on certain characteristics or personality traits from the donor, a phenomenon that researchers are having a difficult time explaining.
Paul Pearsall, a neuropsychologist, wrote about this interesting topic in his book, The Heart’s Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy. In it, he provides insight into his belief that the physical heart contains within it memories belonging to its person. Part of Pearsall’s research for the book included tracking several real life cases of heart transplant recipients who mysteriously inherited some of their donors’ traits.
In one case, a Spanish-speaking man began using words that he had not used prior to his transplant. He received his heart from a man named David who had died in a car accident. David’s wife, Glenda, when meeting the recipient of her husband’s heart for the first time, used the word “copacetic” to describe the situation. The recipient’s mother quickly replied that her son had begun using that word for the first time and that it did not even have a Spanish equivalent, indicating that he had adopted the word from David.
The recipient’s son, who had before been a vegetarian, began craving meat and greasy food after his transplant. His music preferences also changed from favoring heavy metal to preferring fifties rock ‘n’ roll. All of these preferences turned out to be David’s preferences as well.
In another case, an 8-year-old girl who had received a heart transplant from a 10-year-old girl that had been murdered, began to have nightmares about the donor’s murderer. After several consultations with a psychiatrist, it was decided that the police should be notified. The 8-year-old recipient was able to identify key clues about the murder, including who the murderer was, when and how it happened, and even the words spoken by the murderer to the victim. Amazingly, the entire testimony turned out to be true and the murderer was convicted for his crime.
Pearsall’s 73 different case studies point to the fact that both the brain and the heart hold important information about a person. According to his analysis, cell communication that occurs throughout the body on a continual basis can continue to occur after an organ has been removed from one person and transplanted into another. Information from the donor seems to install into the recipient’s memory.
Critics argue that such a phenomenon is not possible, but the proof is in the cases themselves. In one case, a 3-year-old Arab girl received a heart transplant from an 8-year-old Jewish boy who died in a car accident. After her surgery, the girl asked for a type of Jewish candy that, prior to the surgery, she did not even know existed.
Sources for this story include: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/do-our-organs-have-memories.html