Help Two Hearts At the Same Time - Grace and Jamie

Eleven years ago, my best friend Jamie Jennings, an educator and public school librarian for nearly 25 years, adopted Grace, a beautiful baby girl from China.  Grace began her delicate life with serious heart issues, and endured open heart surgery at a very young age, seemingly fixing the issue.  Three weeks ago, Jamie received a call from Grace's school with news that Grace had collapsed at school.  Jamie rushed Grace to the Dell Children's Hospital in Austin where Grace has been ever since.  Grace has had to endure a myriad of tests, medicines, and numerous treatments trying to figure out the best way to treat her condition.  Then, at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, September 18th, the unthinkable happened.  Jamie, sleeping bedside to Grace, was awoken by a nurse flicking on all the lights in the room, and trying to get Grace to wake up - her heart had stopped.  Two hours of chest compressions later, they were able to get Grace on the ECMO machine, and has also had to be placed on dialysis.  It is truly heartbreaking and frightening at the same time to see the amount of tubes and machines and medicines that are being used on this poor little girl.    
     The cardiologists at Dell Medical are in communication with cardiologists from around the world working on Grace's case, and are working around the clock to find a viable solution.  They are trying to get Grace stabilized enough for a surgery just to get her healthy enough to be a candidate for a portable ECMO machine, which will, in turn, get Grace healthy enough to withstand a possible heart transplant.  
     Meanwhile, Jamie is currently on FMLA from her school librarian job, meaning she is not receiving an income while she is standing vigilant next to her daughter's bedside.  Her FMLA runs out in December, and she must go back to work to be able to maintain their health insurance.  She is staying at the wonderful Ronald McDonald house (next door to the hospital), but that alone is $20 per night.  A nominal fee, but one that adds up and is difficult for anyone that has no income coming in whatsoever.  Jamie has health insurance through her employer, but the copays, deductible, some out-of-network medical costs that are out of her control, and regular cost of living expenses will be impossible for her to meet without your help.  I've set a goal to start at $70,000 to cover the immediate out-of-pocket medical costs, household bills, and food/necessities that will be needed for the next six months.  The Jennings girls need your prayers, love, and help now more than ever.


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  • Jessica Gallagher 
    • $25 
    • 10 d
  • Paris Williams 
    • $30 
    • 11 d
  • Veronica Schmittou 
    • $35 
    • 14 d
  • Carolyn Bradley 
    • $250 
    • 16 d
  • Susan Ruiz 
    • $35 
    • 18 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sandra Janoiko Whitten 
San Antonio, TX
Jamie Jennings 
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