CommunityGift of Hope


Stranger’s life-saving ‘Gift of Hope’ allows chart-topping artist to live life to fullest

Posted at 1:54 PM, Nov 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-14 15:55:31-05

He's a No. 1 Billboard recording artist and he waited longer than most for a life-saving gift.

Paul Cardall got a new heart at the age of 36 and hasn't stopped living life to the fullest since.

Cardall is a talented pianist, husband and father.

However, he said he didn't know if he would ever get to that point.

Growing up Cardall was always sick; he was born with congenital heart disease.Gift of Hope Paul Cardall piano

"My entire childhood doctors weren't sure of my future and we knew I would need numerous surgeries; I would need a heart transplant," Cardall said.

He spent 385 days waiting for a new heart while in and out of the hospital.

One became available five years ago and, at the age of 36, Cardall went from hardly living to unstoppable.

"Before my transplant living with half a heart, I couldn't ski, I couldn't be in the mountains as often, I got altitude sickness. I felt like I was driving a truck around but once I got a heart it was like someone gave me the keys to a Porsche so I had all this endless energy and I started doing everything I always wanted to do but couldn't do so I was crossing off a brand new bucket list. So having a brand new heart took me to a level of feeling fine to feeling amazing," Cardall said.

His gratitude to his donor appears immeasurable.Gift of Hope Paul Cardall sick

Cardall said beating in his chest is the heart of a young man he thinks about all the time.

He said he wrote to the man's family to ensure they knew he is grateful.

"Wanted them to know the heart is in a decent man and I would do all I can to live a good life in honor of this individual who I feel is kind of like a guardian angel," Cardall said.

Cardall said after his transplant he struggled to make his latest album, "Saving Tiny Hearts."

He said he believes it is some of his best work.Gift of Hope Paul Cardall hospital

The pianist said he is donating all the royalties to medial research for congenital heart disease.

To become an organ donor, all you need to do is mark "yes" on your driver's license or state identification card.

You can also sign up online here.

Officials said it's a good idea to make your family aware of your decision so it can be carried out.