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  • Eleanor Vincent raised her two daughters, Maya and Meghan, virtually as a single-parent while fighting her way toward a writing career. Maya, the eldest, was a high-spirited and gifted young woman. As a toddler Maya was an angelic tow-head, full of life and curiosity. Eleanor tells the story of how Maya went careening down a hill on her tricycle only to tumble onto the ground, then spring back up and do it again. As a teenager, Maya was energetic and possessed a strong streak of independence. She butted heads with her mother as she strove to find her path in life. But one thing was always clear, the close and connected relationship between Eleanor and Maya. They were like best friends or sisters, but always also mother and daughter.At age 19, Maya mounted a horse bareback as a dare and in a crushing cantilever fall, was left in a coma from which she would never recover. Eleanor s life was turned upside down as she struggled to make the painful decision about Maya s fate. Ultimately she chose to donate Maya s organs. Maya s heart was given to a man with a young family who needed a new heart to live. As time went by, Eleanor contacted and struck up a friendship with the heart recipient and his family. A story about the unique and complicated relationship between mothers and daughters, Swimming with Maya celebrates how that relationship continues to exist beyond the grave. In vivid language, Eleanor Vincent illuminates the kind of courage, creativity, faith, and sheer tenacity it takes to find one s balance after such an overwhelming blow.