My name is Brian Hayden. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954 into a middle-class, blue-collar, Jewish family. I am the middle child with a brother one year my senior, and a sister two years my junior. In 1961, my family moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I am the second generation, American-born son of Austrian and English grandparents on my father’s side, and Polish and Russian grandparents on my mother’s side.
I enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1972, and was finally medically discharged in July of 1990 after suffering a massive heart attack in September 1989.
I published my earliest book in 1999, entitled “Using Strategic and Tactical Planning to Make Your Veterinary Practice More Profitable.” During that period, I wrote five scripts for educational videos. Then, in February of 2011, I published my memoir, “Death: Living To Talk About It.” On August 20, 2012, I published my first work of fictional, “Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems.” Now, after more than two years in the works, “Road To Transplant,” my sequel to the memoir, was published on November 17, 2012. I continue to write both fiction and nonfiction, maintain a weekly blog and write book reviews.
For over twenty years I have found myself on the verge of death and fought to stay alive. My heart attack in 1989 marked the beginning of a life and death struggle that lasted more than twenty years. I have been in hospice, and my family told I had three weeks to live. I was on a heart transplant list but was removed because they said I was too sick to survive surgery. My two memoir’s are the story of the journey I took. When you read my books, you join me as I talk about what it is like to be terminally ill, and to be told time and again that I was dying.
Most importantly, I wish to impart this: hope. For every doctor that is telling people that they will die: Stop it! People do not have expiration dates tattooed on their behinds. For family and friends of people who have terminal illnesses, have faith. Hope and faith are very powerful, and while I cannot tell you that they are all you need, I can say with certainty that without it, there is no hope. As you will read, I have died many times. Please read my story and think: if this poor bastard can still be skulking about after all he has been through; after all he still is going through, maybe I can too.
I married a wonderful girl, Denise, in August of 1974, and I’m happy to announce that we are still very much in love. We’ve been happily married for more than thirty-eight years, with two grown children. Our son, Joseph, married and has provided us with three absolutely wonderful grandsons. Our daughter, Angela, also married and has provided us with an additional three terrific step-grandsons. We currently reside in San Antonio, Texas, where we are surrounded by a support team of healthcare providers, family, and wonderful friends. We currently reside in San Antonio, Texas, where we are surrounded by a support team of health care providers, family and friends.