Jake Heart Transplant & TBI Recovery

$15,485 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 82 people in 22 months
In summer 2015, at 25, Jacob Gonzales caught a virus and within a week he went into heart, respiratory, kidney and liver failure. Over the course of two months he was revived well over fifty times, had a dozen surgeries, five of which were open heart, massive brain injury and eventually placed on a mechanical heart pump. He woke up fall 2015 unable to breathe on his own, move/control any part of his body or speak. After gaining some basic communication skills and the ability to sit up to use a wheelchair, he went home and twelve days later welcomed his first child and daughter, Eden with his wife Ali. Over the past year and a half Jake has relearned how to speak, breathe, feed himself, stand and began the long process of relearning to walk all while traveling and calling transplant centers in the US asking to see if they would consider giving him a heart transplant. In December of 2016 he was accepted by one program at University of Chicago as the highest risk and highest priority transplant status. On May 24, 2017 he was given the gift of life through heart transplant. He is working his way back from total disability and requiring 24 hour care. He is determined to live his life to the fullest and be the best father to his little girl.
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After 7 & 1/2 long weeks in the hospital Jake is going home today! Jake ended his last day of therapy by walking over 600 feet without a break and about 1000 feet total. We are so happy to be back with Eden and to be able to eat non hospital food! After a few days at home Jake will start "Day Rehab" where he will get at just as much therapy as an inpatient until he is ready and strong enough to come back to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for outpatient therapy; which he will attend most days through Spring 2018. We will still have long full days and procedures at University of Chicago often while they monitor his new heart. Things will be crazy for a long while and even more crazy when my mom (who has lived with us for the past two years) finally can move to NC with my family! Whooo!
We still are in deep in medical debt and haven't even got the transplant bills yet . We will be raising money to continue Jake's care in Chicago through Spring when we will be released by his transplant team to move out of Chicago! So if you can help we would be so blessed!

The support and prayers have been incredible over the past seven weeks and I can't thank you all enough!!!!
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We have raised around $4,000 between our gofundme and personal donations in the past week! Thank you so much. With these donations we have started the process of getting the apartment ready to get Jake home this month!!!

You've all helped us get:

-Padded transfer shower chair
-Grab bar installed in the shower
-Air duct cleaning
-Mold removal
-10+ year old carpet removal and replacement
-Sanitizing of our apartment

That means you've given us the ability to guarantee that our apartment will not make Jake sick and he will have the ability to shower at home!

We will be doing the overhaul on the apartment over the next week, so be thinking and praying for me as I try to balance Jake, Eden, scheduling, ripping up carpet, cleaning and attempting to install this shower chair safely hahahaha!

Next set of fundraising will take place over the next four- five months in which we will try to raise $12,000-$15,000 to pay for living in Chicago and his constant procedures & medical care until his 1 year post transplant mark. His team is requiring that we stay longer than we planned which of course means raising more money than we planned.

We love you all thanks so much!

Ali
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$15,485 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 82 people in 22 months
Created June 1, 2017
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$100
Anonymous
4 months ago
$100
Anonymous
5 months ago
$100
Anonymous
6 months ago
$100
Anonymous
7 months ago
$100
Anonymous
8 months ago
$100
Anonymous
9 months ago
$100
Anonymous
10 months ago
KW
$50
Kara White
11 months ago

Hey Jake & Ali, Im praying for your family. Jake, your faith truly amazes me and I'm glad to know someone of such great character. Wishing you all a blessed transition to Atlanta!

$100
Anonymous
11 months ago
$10
Anonymous
12 months ago
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