Kathy's Journey to a New Heart

My name is Kathy, I am 62 yrs young. My journey with serious heart issues started 14 years ago (2004).
The surival rate of heart failure after 10 years is 14.7%. A damaged heart can only carry you so long before giving out. So now, I need to ask for your help. I want to get a new heart so I can live a NORMAL life and continue on this train called “LIFE”. There is still so much I would love to do, to experience and especially to see my grandchildren grow up.
I had a triple bypass in September of 2004 where everything was going wrong. Two of the grafts closed up after a few hours. I was taken back to the OR, where on the way there I had a heart attack and was crossing over. My family was given 20 minutes to try again or let me go.
So that was when I was given a second chance at life. I was kept in a drug induced coma for 2 ½ weeks. I was released after 4 weeks in the hospital. The doctors and staff considered me a miracle. Due to everything that happened, I now live with chronic heart failure. My ejection fraction is 15-20%. A normal EF is 50-75%. What this means is that my heart is only pumping 15-20 % of the blood out of my heart with each beat. That's not good for the other organs of your body. 
This first ten years of this new journey, had many “bumps” but I was always able to pull myself up. I was able to continue to function with daily life. Do my chores, run my errands, have a small social life. Even work in my small garden for a few hours at a time. I have always been a active, independent person.
But now, the quality of my life is not what a normal human being would want for themselves.
This last year has been very hard, my endurance doesn't last long. Naps are a part of my everyday life, cause my body demands a nap not me. Chronic angina is now becoming a part of daily life. I get short of breath very easily. My motivation to function and get things done on a daily basis is barely hanging on. I don't even know what it's like to live a normal life. Fatigue is my constant shadow, by 6 pm, I'm done for the day. I have to constantly push myself to get through the day. I have had to learn to pace myself. This everyday struggle takes what little energy you have and depletes it that much faster. Is this the kind of life you would want to live? A life full of limitations, daily, mulitple medications.  I would love to have a life without restrictions. To be able to walk up all those steps to Amicola Falls without my chest feeling likes it's going to explode. To be able to work in my small garden for longer than an hour or two.
Over these fourteen years, I have had numerous heart caths, two defibillators, a stent, two right heart caths to check the pressure within the heart, numerous stress tests, echocardiograms and two heart transplant evaluations.
This last evaluation (January 4-5, 2018) they have given me a deadline of April 12, 2018 to raise $3,000.00, in order for me to be put on the transplant list.
When this journey started 14 years ago, I chose life. I now see things in life like that of child with wonder, curiosity and awe. The beautiful sunsets, the birds, the beauty in flowers, to enjoy the breeze blowing in my face, all the amazing gifts God has given us. I have passion for so many things – photography, gardening, crafts but most especially my children and grandchildren.
I have grown children and young grandchildren. I want very much to continue living my life. There's still so much I want to do, goals to reach. See my grandchildren achieve their hopes and dreams.
I am on total disability and I do not get very much.
I am asking you to please help me to reach this goal so I can get a new heart, even a small donation will help me, a lot!
The money raised will go into a special medical checking account which will be deposited directly to this account. So I will never be able to touch that money till post transplant. The hospital will not place you on the list unless you have this money.
The post tranplant medicines are very expensive. I will need help after transplant at home and that is not covered by insurance and is expensive. Emory University Hospital is a great place, great staff. Each time I go it cost me for parking and gas, a total of $25.00. This month I have been there three times. Plus after transplant, I will have biweekly, weekly, monthly visits that first year. Numerous heart biospies.
That first year post transplant will be like climbing a mountian but once you get to the top there will be a beautiful view waiting.
But I need your help!
Thank you for reading about my journey, I hope you can make a donation towards my new journey with a new heart. I would appreciate it if you would share this with your friends and through Facebook. Ask them to share it, too. Please help me to spread my story.                         God Bless.


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Kathy Kurowski
Canton, GA

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