Just two long weeks ago, we could not have imagined our days and nights would soon be spent sitting at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital while our sister, Carolyn, struggled and fought to recover from a heart transplant.Since being diagnosed with a failing heart, and many months on the list to receive a heart transplant, Carolyn was notified on Dec. 7 that a match had been found. A few short hours later, in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, Carolyn underwent surgery to receive her new heart.The plan had been for Carolyn to receive her new heart, recuperate, regain some strength and be home in two weeks to continue her recovery. For six days, things were going as planned. Suddenly, on day six, Carolyn's body rejected the new heart, leading to a catastrophic medical event. On the day we had expected Carolyn to be moved out of ICU to continue her recovery, doctors instead spent 30 minutes resuscitating her. The doctor's explained to us that the chance of an event like this occurring is very rare and they had only seen it happen once, seven years ago. We are very grateful this event happened while Carolyn was still in the ICU and extremely grateful for the 10 doctors who were close by and able to keep our sister alive. Carolyn is a loving wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend to so many and we couldn't imagine losing her!Carolyn continues to fight for her life, surrounded by amazing medical professionals. Her surgeons, specialists and nurses are now tackling the many additional medical issues Carolyn is facing. She remains in ICU and is assigned a nurse to watch her one on one, 24 hours a day. Carolyn has many hurdles to overcome and the doctors now tell us it may be a month or two before she is ready to leave the hospital.Carolyn's husband, Pat, is focused on getting her well. He rarely leaves Carolyn's side, while trying to keep things as normal as possible for their three children Kyle (22 , a senior at Dickenson College), Sara (17,a senior at Archbishop Wood) and Aidan (12 , a student at St. Lukes.)Carolyn's health and recovery are our number one concern, but the reality of the financial strain this catastrophic event will place on her family is also a huge worry. We are thankful for medical insurance, but there are also enormous co-pays, and the normal expenses of maintaining a family home continue to accrue. Carolyn and Pat are often the first people to offer help to someone in need and would never think of asking for help for themselves. Many of you have asked us how you can help Carolyn and Pat during these difficult times, and as her sisters, we thought helping to alleviate the worry that these financial burdens are putting on them would be tremendous. If you'd like to consider a donation to help offset the many costs being incurred during Carolyn's hospitalization and recovery, we would be very grateful!We also ask that you continue to pray for Carolyn!
As Carolyn's sister, I will be taking care of the funds on her behalf.
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