Imagine.....carrying an oxygen tank 24x7 just to have enough breath to walk to the bathroom...
Imagine.....finally getting the double lung transplant you need, only to wake up and realize you’re partially blind & now you can't see your only kid's face, and DOCTORS DON'T KNOW WHY....
Imagine.....spending your kid’s 2nd birthday alone in ICU and then put on life support with induced paralysis because your new lungs are possibly failing and DOCTORS DON'T KNOW WHY....
All of this, and more, has been happening to our friend Charu since her double lung transplant 2 months ago on Valentine's day at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. This is the reality of a wonderful friend, daughter, wife, an even better mother, and a transplant survivor that really, really needs our help!
Doctors don’t know why
Charu has 4 auto immune diseases, including LUPUS, for as long as we’ve known her, but she never plays the sympathy card. These caused major damage to her lungs, so much so that she has been unable to lie down to properly sleep for over a year. Charu spent most of 2018 in the hospital, during which she was added to the list to receive a lung transplant. Finally, on Valentine’s day 2019, she got the 2 new lungs she so desperately needed. Upon waking up after the surgery, she realized she is partially blind. Doctors do not know what happened – maybe it’s optic nerve swelling, maybe it’s a reaction from anti-rejection drugs, maybe oxygen was not fully going to the brain during surgery…. maybe… maybe... maybe…but nobody knows 100% why and don't know if it's permanent. The only truth that is 100% is she can’t see her daughter’s face.
March 2019 her breathing improved, but because of her very complicated double lung transplant and her partial blindness, she needed special care at an inpatient rehabilitation facility under supervision and for vision/lung therapy. This only lasted 3 weeks, and in April 2019 her breathing started getting worse, oxygen levels dropped, and mold started growing in lungs. While back in the hospital, she started improving again, but quickly went downhill and had to be put in the ICU - she couldn't breathe again and needed 100% oxygen to survive.
For more than 3 weeks, doctors have been scrambling to figure out the cause of possible lung rejection – bronchoscopies & biopsies were inconclusive. She was put on feeding tubes & nutrition IVs – she had 11 medicines being pumped into her - still, she was getting worse. Her new lungs collapsed during biopsy and Charu has now been put on life support (ECMO) and ventilator with induced paralysis under sedation while doctors try to figure out what is happening...
Why we need your help
Though they had an amazing life, and would usually not ask for help — they’re in great need. During ALL of this, her ever-devoted husband Danny has been unable to work and as of mid-April 2019, his work contract has been terminated. Since Charu’s transplant, Danny has been spending his time providing Charu emotional and physical support in Philadelphia and taking care of their beautiful little 2-year old girl in New Jersey named Freya …their pride and joy. Between the medical bills and cost of staying/traveling between two states while neither of them are working, it’s a lot. Charu will need the presence and support of her family, and it’s important for them to focus on her rather than having to worry about the finances. As her friends, we ask you to please give what you can to support Charu, Danny, and Freya (any amount can go a long way). All proceeds will go to Danny and Charu to help offset their costs of this seemingly endless ordeal while they are far from home and, if any are leftover, to support Charu’s extended recovery when she is finally released from the hospital.
Who are they?
For those who don't know, Charu is an outgoing, beloved, firecracker of an Indian woman who just celebrated 10 wonderful years married to a low-key, introverted American named Danny. They have a beautiful daughter named Freya. Charu wants nothing more than to just go home and raise her and not miss any more of her kid’s firsts. Earlier this year, before the surgery, she wanted to celebrate Freya's 2nd birthday at a zoo. Then, after the surgery, when she was doing better, all she wanted was a simple celebration at home with close friends and family. Then, due to being in ICU, she wasn't even allowed to be with Freya for the cake cutting.
Throughout ALL of this, Danny has been the family's rock & is doing his best to put on a brave face, but those who know him can see he’s having a hard time as he watches the love of his life suffer. But, he maintains he’s staying strong for her admitting Charu is strong all on her own. He’s going to any length possible to give her the best care possible, & we all believe she WILL recover.
Charu’s lungs may be weak, but her character and courage are strong. She is determined to get better for her husband and little girl, but it will take some time. Her positive outlook and upbeat attitude keeps those in her life hopeful. She keeps us laughing when she compares herself to Ray Charles and requests a full-time booger checker since she can no longer see her face. This sweet and sassy, beautiful and classy, undeniable amazing person deserves our help. #BeCharusChampion
When she should only be thinking of herself, she thinks of others by requesting that everyone becomes an organ donor because it’s what saved her life. They’re a family who always takes care of others, and now her friends are asking for support for Charu. We started this GoFundMe as a surprise to Charu. She found out prior to being put on life support, she felt overwhelmed, speechless and in debt forever to the love she’s been receiving. She wanted to personally thank everyone once she is back home reunited with the family. Please give what you can to help with their mounting bills.
As her friends, we know Charu would love to receive a card or thoughtful note from you. Please send any notes, cards, wishes, or inspiring stories to the address below and we will read them to her once she is off life support.
Charu Chawla Pereda Gift of Life Family House 401 Callowhill St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
A huge Thank You to the kind lung donor who gave our friend new life. Please become an organ donor and save a life: Be an Organ Donor
Give whatever you can please, no donation is too small.
Share this on social media with #BeCharusChampion
Her friends, Akanksha, Deb, Chris, Tejal, Sakshi, Radhika, Dhara & Anil