A Healing Heart for Jamaica Page

My dear friend Jamaica Page, who I think of like a sister, found out in early November that she was suffering from a heart condition called a mitral valve prolapse. It was causing her to have a shortness of breath and dizzy spells. A mitral valve prolapse means that there is an improper closure of the valve between the heart’s upper and lower left chambers, but the way that it effects people overall can differ. Jamaica’s doctor had her wear a monitor through the month of November so that he could get a clear idea of exactly what the prolapse was doing to her specifically. In December it was determined that Jamaica didn’t have just the valve prolapse, but there was regurgitation as well which was causing a severe arrhythmia. In most cases a mitral valve prolapse will require surgery, but not necessarily right away. Since Jamaica is only 36, still with young children, her doctor was hoping that they could wait at least 2-4 years before the surgery would be critical, however when they discovered the regurgitation and arrhythmia that made it impossible. Open heart surgery was necessary right away.

When they found out, she only had two weeks to prepare both mentally and financially for it, which was a scramble, as you can imagine!

Jamaica works as a childcare provider from her own home. She watches her four children, her two nephews, my co-worker’s new born boy, and three other children in her neighborhood that she’s taken care of since birth. I’ve often dubbed Jamaica a saint because not many can juggle a crazy group of screaming kids like she can. With a 6-8 week recovery time, and the fact that she never gets sick time or paid time off, it will be a financial burden for them to not work for so long.

Her husband Ben is a Sergeant for the Salt Lake County Sheriff, and has a pretty decent insurance plan, but this year, the department decided to switch up their insurance enrollment so that it went from January to December, instead of April to March like it had been for many years previously. So they reached their deductible from April to December, only to have it reset in January just in time for her surgery.

Jamaica went through an open heart procedure on the morning of January 25th and in all reality, it couldn’t have gone better. She only had one slight hiccup on the first night of recovery, her lung collapsed, but besides that, she has been feeling as good as can be expected. She will still not be able to lift anything over 10 lbs., operate a vehicle, or much else for up to 8 weeks, so I thought that starting this Go Fund Me would be one thing that I could do that would help alleviate the added stress of the financial burden that will most definitely come with her recovery. No one needs to stress about money, when they’re trying to focus on getting better!

As they say, any little bit helps! Thank you in advance for anything you’re able to give!

-Melissa Lawrence (long time family friend to Jamaica (Ben) Page, Rachael (Chad) Farnworth, Lisa Meyer, and Kerry Meyer)

Organizer and beneficiary

Melissa Lawrence
Salt Lake City, UT
Jamaica Page

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