Have Heart

The last time I laid eyes on my brother, the doctors had ripped open his chest and could not get it closed again. The implanted heart did not tolerate its new home well and would only function if my brother’s chest cavity remained open. I remember being surprised at the number of machines and tubes connected to his body. The war nature waged against him had presented him with the final battle for his life.

When Ferrar assigned the Linear Systems individual project, I seriously considered using his truss example for my proposal–This, in order to preserve my mental energy and sanity. However, eye-rolling guilt led me to put a few brain cells to good use and aim for the apex of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I must enlist a slew more if I am to reach the top. I will be studying the intricate blood flow network within two cardiac systems. This will be a static simulation of healthy and impaired heart function. Goodbye Spring Break.

Two years ago my brother rushed hours to UPenn Hospital after getting The Call: “Good news Chris, we have the heart.” Although his own was functioning at 20% of normal capacity, he would never back down easily from a challenge. He fought with every ounce of his will to brave the initial bumps of his complications. Unfortunately, it was not enough. He doesn’t know it but he left me to face his legacy of having heart when things appear formidable. Fittingly, I don’t know if this project will pan out as envisioned but I am compelled anyhow to burn the truss and advance into the unknown.


13 thoughts on “Have Heart

  1. I’m really interested to see how your project turns out. I originally wanted to do something with the cardiovascular system. After a little bit of research, the project seemed to be a little difficult for the time allotted. I hope your project goes well for you and may that passionate love for you brother be a driving force!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words. The strength my brother had to have during it all is something I haven’t been able to fathom to this day. As you said, I will definitely use my love for him as a driving force. You were smart to decide on another topic! The mathematical complexity of the cardiovascular system turned into a mess very quickly.


    1. Yeah, that’s what I kept telling myself: just start and see where this goes. I am MechE with a biomechanics concentration. Prior to transferring to Temple, I was studying biology on the pre-med track.


  2. Wow this is so powerful. Its very brave that you are able to channel energy into a project that has such a tragic memory attached to it. This is a very thoughtful way to pay hommage to your brother, and like Richard I wish you the best. Maintain that level of positivity in light of the situation.


  3. This post was heartfelt and for that I appreciate it a lot. Thank you for sharing the story about your brother. I am terribly sorry to hear about what happened. I’m sure your passion for the subject will lead to a great project.

    Liked by 1 person

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