So can elements of a person's character - or even their soul - be transplanted along with a heart?One woman who believes this to be the case is CLAIRE SYLVIA, a divorced mother of one.Claire, a former professional dancer, then made an astonishing discovery: she seemed to be acquiring the characteristics, and cravings, of the donor.Here, in an extract from her book A Change Of Heart, Claire tells her remarkable story...She was 47 and dying from a disease called primary pulmonary hypertension when, in 1988, she had a pioneering heartlung transplant in America.She was given the organs of an 18-year-old boy who had been killed in a motorcycle accident near his home in Maine.A month later, I left the hospital and moved into a medical halfway house a few miles away.
Although I hadn't thought much about my donor, I was acutely aware that I was living with a man's heart - and I wondered whether it was conceivable that this male heart might affect me sexually.
Was it possible that my new heart had reached me with its own set of tastes and preferences? During those early days, I had no idea that I would look back on this curious comment as the first of many mysteries after the transplant.
Or that, in the months ahead, I would sometimes wonder who was choreographing changes in my preferences and personality. On the fifth day, though my body was doing fine, I fell into a profound despair.
During my final lucid moments before my heart-lung transplant, I was told that a medical team would soon be leaving to "harvest" the organs that would save my life.
My surgeon, Mr John Baldwin, would remain with me, ready to begin the operation as soon as he was notified that the donor's heart and lungs had been removed.