Author, attorney, and speaker Amy Silverstein was a vibrant, energetic 24-year-old student when she learned she had a failing heart; suddenly, it was heart transplant or die. At 25, she underwent heart transplant surgery. An "extraordinary kind of amazing" medical miracle, her new heart beat strong for nearly three decades, despite a ten-year prognosis. A graduate of NYU School of Law (she finished her degree after her transplant), Silverstein practiced corporate law prior to beginning her writing career. She also served several years on the board of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), a federally contracted transplant network, and is an active speaker on women's health issues and patient advocacy. She has written articles for articles for SELF, Prevention, and Glamour magazines.
In the winter of 2014, nearly twenty-six years after receiving her first transplanted heart, Amy's steadfast heart finally gave up. When her doctors informed her that her best shot at survival depended on moving across the country to wait for the unlikely event that a matching donor heart would become available, Amy's friends, who had watched her in amazement as she willfully defied the odds year after year, dropped everything and followed her, in a constant rotation, to a hospital room in California to sit by her bedside.
Her 2017 book, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, is a story about survival, faith and the power of women's friendship that is at once unimaginable and accessible. We would all like to believe that our friends will be there for us and us for them in the hardest times. This book is a beacon of hope and a tribute to the wondrous effects of showing up for those we love.
Silverstein is author of the highly acclaimed 2007 memoir Sick Girl, a bold, unforgettable self-portrait and a riveting, keenly observed, wryly humorous look at full-throttle life-threatening challenges. Published in 2007, Sick Girl was voted winner of the Books for a Better Life award and a finalist for the Borders Original Voices award. Ted Koppel said, "Amy Silverstein has lived twenty long years with a transplanted heart; much longer than any doctor could have predicted. And she has, arguably, done more with a transplanted heart than anyone else, including the publication of this remarkable book." Elle magazine reported that "the crowning miracle is that she wrote this feisty, insightful, improbable book at all. Silverstein has cheated death to thrive in her post-transplant existence and to write about it with incredible courage, determination, self-scrutiny, and verve." Dr. Mehmet Oz called Sick Girl "spectacular" and Susan Cheever said, "Silverstein is an inspired storyteller. Her engaging language and sharp insight make Sick Girl both compelling and moving. Few of us undergo a heart transplant at twenty-five, but we can recognize our own stories in this incisive, unflinching look at life, love, and extraordinary courage." Sick Girl was the first book serialized by U.S. News & World Report; the flood of reader response that followed was unprecedented in volume for any U.S. News health story, ever.
Amy Silverstein lives in New York City.