Double lung transplant survivor on Life Support

$83,281 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 842 people in 3 months
Created April 11, 2019
Charu's Champions
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
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It is with a heavy heart that I write this update. On June 2, at 12:58pm, Charu became an angel to all of us. Due to multiple organ failure, she left us peacefully. Charu was surrounded by her loved ones, her daughter Freya’s hand on hers.

As a staunch advocate of organ donation, she had requested that doctors donate any organs that they could, so the family will follow her request. Please give it a thought, help save a life. www.donatelife.net

Words cannot express how grateful the family and Charu’s Champions are for your continuous generosity and support. Danny and Freya were on Charu’s Health Insurance, and due to Charu’s condition she was unable to obtain Life Insurance, so all of your support so far will help Danny get back on his feet and take care of himself and his daughter.

No one had a more positive outlook on life than Charu and that continues even in this saddest of days. Charu had requested a closed casket, so we encourage those that knew her to bring your fondest memory or a photo that reminds you of her. We will display them alongside the countless happy photos of her short time here with us.

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. The Pereda and Chawla family request the honor of your presence at a ceremony of her final journey. We will gather at:

Franklin Memorial Park
1800 Rt. 27
North Brunswick, NJ 08902

On Wednesday, June 5th from 9 AM to 11 AM
Go to www.fmpark.org for directions.

Please, if you could, wear white or pastel since in Hindu culture wearing white signifies purity and is used to show respect to the departed and the family.

In lieu of flowers, which Charu never preferred, we request you to please donate (time or money) to the Gift of Life Family House, where Charu and her family spent the last couple of months. This place serves as a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging, meals, and supportive services. www.giftoflifefamilyhouse.org

There will also be a gathering for Hindu Prayer at the temple, details of which will be shared in the next update.

Charu, your life was a blessing. Your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. With memories strong and love so well shared, we go on as we must. God sent us prepared, we came here with knowledge of His life so sweet. When ‘our’ time is over, again we will meet.
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Last week marked 3 months since the surgery. We were hoping that the toughest part was over and she would have been on her way to recovery and to celebrate Mother’s Day with Freya – instead, she’s been on life support for over a month, fighting for her life. Every day has brought new challenges, from excessive bleeding (due to sepsis), fluid in the lungs (due to ARDS), and kidney failure, to now liver failure, low white blood cells, and jaundice.

Charu’s lungs are inflamed with a condition called ARDS, which is basically fluid in the tiny pockets of her lungs where air should be – it is difficult to treat. Her heart had failed due to sepsis shock, and this caused her to start bleeding internally, from everywhere. When doctors decided to switch machines to support her lungs AND heart, they said there was only a 50/50 chance she would make it through the next few hours. Our little firecracker held on though!

On May 9, they switched machines back to only lung support because her heart was strong enough again. Since then, doctors have been fighting a blood infection and dealing with the damage caused by sepsis.

On May 14th, in trying to fight the infection, they took her to surgery to remove all the lines and ECMO machine that could be holding on to the bacteria. They also opened her chest to clean out some of the blood and replaced the ECMO machine. This left her with more bleeding that they had a hard time stopping. It looked like they got it stopped around midnight (they think) by giving her many, many pints of blood.

By the way, after almost a full month, Danny finally got his foot evaluated and he got a painful shot to relieve the inflammation.

Danny’s fight also started the very moment Charu’s fight began. And everybody, from the doctors, to the family, to the friends, and to all of you “Amaaazinggg!” (in Charu’s voice) donors, should know that this is THEIR story. While Charu is trying to get better for her husband, Danny feels lonely and “misses her crazy”. Between all these intense, nonstop, emotionally draining days and nights, Danny and Charu had a date night! That’s right - he planned a surprise date night for the love of his life, where they jammed to music, talked nonsense, and watched an action movie together just like old times. The only difference was that this time she wasn’t awake…

Over the past week, her immune-protecting white blood cell numbers have been decreasing and her bilirubin numbers have been increasing, which are signs of liver failure. Currently, Charu’s entire body is being supported by machines (lungs, heart, kidney, feeding, etc); unfortunately, there is no machine to support the liver.

We need a miracle. We need your prayers.

Charu’s Champions would kindly ask all of you that are reading this is to please say a specific prayer for her. There is an ancient Hindu mantra called “Mahamrityunjaya” that is recited to help overcome health problems. The short version is this:


Could you please recite this at least 3 times? The more it is said, keeping her in mind, the more powerful the effects. Thank you so, so much for your support <3

Thank you again for your continued love and support. I’ve been passing on all of your messages and wishes to the family. Please continue to reach out to me and give the family some space so they can focus on Charu. The family knows that you all want to be there for them, but we hope you understand how painful it is for them to have to repeat updates on Charu’s condition every time they are contacted.

#BeCharusChampion (please share and tag)

Link to mantra info: https://www.litairian.com/maha-mrityunjaya-mantra-mantra-health/
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5/8/2019 update: Late Sunday night, Charu had a major setback. Doctors think she went into sepsis shock due to some new infection. This impacted multiple organs, including heart, putting her in a very critical condition where she’s completely dependent on machines. Doctors decided to switch the life support from supporting just her lungs to supporting both lungs and heart.

Since the beginning, Danny has been by her side almost 24/7, even neglecting his own health in the process. This caught up with him this week when he fractured his foot and got a respiratory infection. Needless to say, he feels helpless since now he is not allowed to visit Charu in the ICU while he is sick.

Charu and Dan’s family and friends have been stepping in to watch over her while he can’t be there. I got to spend a couple of days last week with Charu, and honestly it was rough to watch her in pain, tied down with more than 15 tubes and needles and countless medicines supporting her body. I tried talking to her, asked her to keep fighting, sang the song she sings for Freya and told her how people have been reaching out. I wanted so bad for her to wake up and talk back, but seeing her wake up broke my heart.

Although she is heavily sedated, she periodically wakes up while nurses tend to her. When this happens, it is akin to waking up from a nightmare – she is scared and confused, and nurses have to tell her every single time that she is OK and surrounded by family because when she hears her family’s voice she starts crying, becomes anxious, and her numbers start declining.

I’m sorry for the delayed updates, but seeing her in that much pain was devastating and it took a toll on me. People have been trying to reach out directly to the family to show their support, but we would request everyone to please give the family some space while they focus on her health. Please direct all of your love and support to either the GoFundMe comments, the Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/charuschampions/), or you can email me at akankshabhatt3@gmail.com and I will pass on the good wishes to them when they are ready.

Charu’s Champions and family are overwhelmed with the continued love and support we have received in the past few weeks. We need her in your prayers now more than ever. Please don’t forget to share this as much as possible. People have been forwarding to alumni, charitable orgs they know, and Facebook groups.

Ganesha is overlooking our little fighter!
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Week of 22nd April 2019 was by far one of the toughest weeks: Danny's work contract was terminated & Charu was put on Life Support (still sedated, & on ventilator). As per current info, she will be on it for at least a few weeks.

Her biopsies and bronchoscopies didn't provide any insight or answers to her declining condition.

We really really need your help in making this campaign reach as many people as possible. The more it's shared, the better chances it will be visible on GoFundMe's main page.

Please re-share if you've already shared with #BeCharusChampion, and/or send it to people who may be able to donate or at least share.

If you have any suggestions or contacts with Businesses, Charities, the Media or Organizations that you think could be beneficial, please do comment or reach out to me at akankshabhatt3@gmail.com.

We all know they would usually not ask for help — but they’re in great need. Thank you so much for your generous donations & please continue to keep them in your prayers.
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$83,281 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 842 people in 3 months
Created April 11, 2019
Charu's Champions
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