Posted on : Tuesday September 1, 2009

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

WALDORF, Md.—Mr. NewHeart, a book written by David Hollar, a member of First Church, St. Charles, is an amazing first-person journey from Hollar’s first heart attack, through his ongoing battle with his ailing heart, to his recovery after receiving a heart transplant on Easter Sunday.

The book is written chronologically as an easy-to-read true-life drama, but the real “heart” of the book is Hollar’s candidness. He lets his readers know how he felt when he lashed out in anger, when he sunk to the lows of deep depression and when he held on to nurses’ hands and sobbed. Through it all, he clung to his biological family and his church family and most of all, his faith in Jesus as his strength. In fact, at one point, Hollar heard God’s voice assuring him that he was going to recover from the ordeal.

Hollar’s story begins when he and his wife, Sylvia, were moving into a new home they had designed themselves after receiving an inheritance from Hollar’s mother who had passed away a few years earlier. As Hollar was moving boxes he tripped and broke his toe and had to go to a 24-hour medical facility where he received pain medicine. Several hours after going to bed, Hollar felt tightness in his chest and thought it was indigestion from the pain medicine. He took TUMS. When the pain continued and worsened, he went to the emergency room.

In the book, Hollar writes: “I was not in a high-risk category. I did not smoke, drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. My cholesterol was not high and I did not have a family history of heart disease at an early age. I had jogged frequently for several years before the heart attack. Dr. (Henry) Burke told me, ‘It should never have happened—it was just bad luck.’”

Hollar’s first massive heart attack was the beginning. He struggled through tachycardia, having a defibrillator implanted in his chest that discharged 20 times, risky heart ablation surgery and a pulmonary embolism. After his new heart implant, he dealt with the complications of the medicines to help prevent rejection of his new heart and with kidney failure.

David Hollar received his new heart on Easter morning. He knows that’s no coincidence. It was symbolic of the new life Hollar knows he has in Jesus. Hollar could only receive his new heart when an organ donor died.

Mr. NewHeart includes several chapters written by David’s wife, Sylvia, and his son, Mike, who was 17 years old when his dad had his first heart attack. Both share their own struggles through that difficult time in the family’s life. In the back of the book, Hollar includes a chapter about how to become a believer in Christ and information about organ donation.

Mr. NewHeart can be ordered through