A Medical Mystery: Transferred Organ Donor Consciousness

By | November 20, 2008


There is an interesting list of traits and memories transferred from organ donors on scienceray.com. While I don’t agree that consciousness is being transferred, memories and preferences seem to be!

A former professional dancer, in 1988 Claire Sylvie received a heart and lung transplant after suffering from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. After the operation, she developed a taste for beer, Snickers bars, green peppers and fried chicken, none of which she had liked prior to the operation. She lost her attraction to men, and her daughter noticed that she had developed a masculine demeanour and walk. She began to have dreams of talking to a tall thin man with sandy coloured hair called Tim, whom she felt close to. After investigation through the hospital administration, she discovered that the heart and lung donor was an 18-year-old man named Tim, who had been killed in a motorcycle accident

After contacting his family, she discovered he’d loved beer, Snickers and fried chicken.

Our food preferences may come from the biochemical needs or habits of our organs. This is not particularly surprising, but the change in sexual attraction is difficult to explain.

63-year-old William Sheridan, from New York, had a heart transplant operation. After recovering from surgery, Mr. Sheridan developed a passion for art. Prior to the transplant, he had neither interest in nor talent for the subject. As his skills blossomed, he discovered that his heart donor was an artist who had spent his life painting

What memories are stored in our hearts and how?

An eight-year-old girl received a heart from a 10-year-old girl who had been murdered. The transplant recipient began to experience vivid dreams about being murdered. The dreams were so vivid, and her explanations so detailed, that the police were able to arrest and convict the murderer purely upon her evidence.

Once again, specific memories stored in the heart.

A young man came out of transplant surgery saying, “Everything is copacetic”. His mother said that he had never used the word before. After his transplant, he used the phrase all the time. It was subsequently discovered that the donor and his wife used the word.  It was a private signal between them: after an argument, the word meant that it was time for them to make up. The donor’s wife reported that the couple had had an argument before the accident, and had not yet made up when her husband died.

more on scienceray.com:

0 thoughts on “A Medical Mystery: Transferred Organ Donor Consciousness

  1. Ann

    I like these stories. They show that the world is a little more complicated than we normally would like it to be. I don’t think anyone really knows why this happens. I seriously doubt “memories” per se are stored in body organs, but apparently something is stored in my heart, lungs and … that’s uniquely me! So copacetic!

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