Jamie’s Heart Surgery!

I want to share with you the story of my sister Jamie Barr. She has done all the right things for herself, but more importantly for everyone around her. In January, she learned that she has Severe Mitral Valve Disease. This means that the Mitral valve in her heart is failing. Excess blood is forced into her lungs making it extremely hard to breathe and causing Congestive Heart Failure. Her heart is forced to pump extremely hard to try to get blood to circulate throughout her body. She is currently on medications to eliminate the rapidly growing pressure in her lungs, keep her heart rate very slow and thin her blood to prevent clots. A little back story, in 2005 she suffered a massive stroke at the age of 31. The entire left side of her body was paralyzed. Through determination and hard work, she was able to learn to walk, talk, write and eat again. Writing was the most challenging as she was left handed and had to learn to write with her right hand. At the time she was forced to apply for disability benefits as her disabilities were too severe to continue in the nursing profession. She continued to selflessly give to others deciding to become a foster parent where she was able to touch the lives of 16 foster children. Working hard to learn to manage her disabilities, in 2013 she was able to get OFF the system completely. With a permanent loss of feeling in her left hand, meaningful employment was hard to find, however, she was still able to drive, so she earned her CDL and became a school bus driver for a local district. She worked as a bus driver for five years, until the symptoms of the Mitral Valve Disease became so severe she was unable to continue safely operating a passenger vehicle. Medical Bills and prescription medicines are quickly adding up as her insurance terminated with her employment. She recently had to turn down a potentially life-saving anti-coagulation drug due its cost of $280.00 for 6 doses. She also checked into private insurance and was quoted $1750.00 per month and that was before this medical diagnosis. We are currently fighting to get her reinstated with Social Security/Disability, but if that is unsuccessful she will be left medically bankrupt. Regardless, she is left in a situation where none of her expenses are being met. So, on her behalf, I ask you, please share her story in the hopes that the kindness and generosity she has shown to others may come back to help her in her time of need. Are you able to donate? Every little bit will be a tremendous help. Stress works against her and makes everything worse. Facing a life saving open heart surgery is enough to handle without the stress of losing everything she has ever worked to accomplish in her life. She has overcome so much already, and she is determined to fight this too. Let’s help her. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Tara Shuler 
Harrisburg, PA
Jamie Barr 
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