Through his mid 20's, Lennus Hinds played professional Division 1 soccer for in his home country of Trinidad and Tabago. His desire for an education, however, led him to the United States to study computer science. The East Hampton resident now knows that decision saved his life. After gaining his associates degree in computer science from Manchester Community College, Hinds started believing that computers may become a fad, so he switched his concentration to nursing, and later earned his RN at the State University of New York, and BS, at the University of Hartford. While working as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, in 1999, Hinds learned he had a potentially deadly heart condition,which he had to monitor. Having one child from a previous marriage and believing he was not long for life, Hinds did not want to straddle another woman with his problem, but a woman he met in 2005, Judy, wouldn't be dissuaded, and convinced him destiny had brought them together. In September of 2011, the inevitable happened, and Hinds, battling a bout of pneumonia, learned his heart condition had worsened. Four surgeries and the search for a new heart kept him hospitalized. "I spent seven months in the hospital. She didn't miss one day, not one day," Hinds emotionally states. "All that time I was calm. I think that what will happen will happen. You can't change it because that is how it was written," he says reasoning that may be why he had no emotion when a nurse whispered in his ear "I think we have a heart for you." A collaboration between St. Francis hospital and Yale New Hospital saw the successful heart transplant take place on Valentines Day 2012. "As much as these doctors and nurses were great, as they were the chain, she was the link that made it work," he says of his partner Judy. So, what is hinds thankful for? "I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm thankful for this great country because if I was in Trinidad I would have been dead. I know that for a fact. I'm thankful for my team of angels and that includes Judy, my significant other the team of doctors nurses and special nurses." Hinds daughter was only sixteen when he was going through this ordeal, and he is also thankful for how she helped and handled the hardship. "Family becomes important. The prayer team, friends. I don't follow a formal religion but I believe there is a force that is much more powerful than I am that is responsible for my presence here. My wishes are that when other people have a hard time they have the same kind of support system I had. And I'm thankful for the family of the donor. I haven't yet met them, but I'm in the process of getting emotionally ready to meet them. For me to be happy I know that somebody is sad. I haven't been able to emotionally come to terms with that." Thinking a bit more, he adds, "I'm thankful for all those that give the gift of life." Lennus and Judy are expecting another daughter in March.
Richard Messina / Hartford Courant
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