#GTFHero Spotlight: Diane Perryman

Diane Perryman, a dedicated pediatric nurse practitioner, has built her career around providing comprehensive care for heart transplant patients. She began her career as a nurse in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit, where she was first introduced to cardiac patients and discovered for love for caring for children and life changing impact of heart transplants. “The gift of transplant allows kids to have their life back,” she shared. This was her inspiration to go back to school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner to continue to care for heart transplant recipients.  

As a nurse practitioner at, Diane’s role starts well before the actual transplant. Pre-transplant care is vital for preparing patients and their families for the challenging journey ahead. Diane helps to support the patient and family while they await their transplant. She describes it as “joining the family”, she has to know the ins and outs of her patients’ lives. She loves that she gets to celebrate all of life’s milestones with these families, from birthdays, sports achievements, graduations, and beyond.   

As joyful as transplant can be, it does not come without tragedy and hardship. Diane says that in order to care for herself and to move forward in the face of challenges, she reflects on the resiliency of her patients. Each day she gets to see the smiling face of one of her patients in clinic is a gift. “Their joy is what keeps me going. My patients are resilient and strong, even at young ages they are able to climb unbelievable mountains.” She leans on her faith, husband, family, and friends for encouragement. She loves to be outside, spending time on the lake in the summer, skiing in the winter and playing tennis.  

Diane’s patients greatly benefit from the assistance provided by Georgia Transplant Foundation. “GTF is a really special organization that is unique to Georgia. We are blessed to be able to connect our patients and families with an organization who can help in ways we cannot. When there is a crisis with insurance, medication, housing, or finances, GTF is there to help. GTF allows parents to focus on what really matters, their children. The entire Advanced Cardiac Therapies Team at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is so grateful for what GTF can provide for our families.” 

A phrase told to all of her transplant patients and families is “transplant is not a cure; it is exchanging one set of challenges for another.” Diane works with her multidisciplinary team to support patients in their journeys through each of these new challenges. Her advice to all patients in order to help keep their transplanted organ healthy is to always take their medications. She encourages her patients to use fun pill box organizers, set alarms with fun music, and reflect on the gift of life they have been given in order to help keep them motivated with their health. 

Diane not only provides lifesaving care to her patients but makes the entire experience more enjoyable. We love working with brilliant #GTFHeroes like Diane. We could not more impressed by the work of transplant nurse practitioners and we are grateful for all that they do.