Heart for a Hero


Ken has been in the service of others his entire life. His heart has been one of dedication and self sacrifice.  Now, his heart needs help. On July 15, 2020 Ken had a massive heart attack that has since changed life drastically.  Ken is 52 years old. 

Ken has lived an extremely healthy lifestyle. 


Ken served in the United States Marines for 4 years.  After the Marines he then worked for more than 12 years as a paramedic continuing to serve others. His wife Amy and their two sons have been his greatest dedication. He cares tirelessly for them and has always worked very hard to provide. Ken is known to be the friend that shows up first to help, most equipped, hardest working and the last to leave. 


While it seemed that he was on the road to recovery things have shifted over the past month. Ken had an implantable ICD placed in November, however his heart health continued to decline. This has led to shortness of breath and fluid retention which has spiraled rapidly into a declining, dying heart.  Ken was brought back in for admission to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan for more testing and treatment. 

Currently,  things are as serious as ever. At this point in time, Ken’s only options for survival are performing open-heart surgery to implant a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). This device will help pump blood from the left ventricle of his heart to the rest of his body. A control unit and battery pack are worn outside the body and are connected to the LVAD through a port in his skin. In addition to his LVAD surgery, due to the seriousness of his condition, Ken is also awaiting a heart transplant. 

This is where we need your help. In addition to the tremendous cost of this surgery the average cost of surgery, post-op care and required medications is approximately $250,000.  Ken has not been able to work since his initial visit to the hospital in July. Now needing additional care, Amy,  his wife, has become responsible for his caregiving, in addition to home life and her full- time employment.  After his surgery, he will continue to be unable to work for the foreseeable future. While Ken himself would never ask anyone for a dime, we, his family and friends, are asking for your help.  We are asking for donations to assist in medical expenses, food, gas. etc. This gofundme site offers a secure site to help donate. We hope to gain your support and help in alleviating financial strain to allow Ken and Amy the time to recover and focus on his health.  


Finally, we'd like to encourage anyone that has ever considered becoming an organ donor to think about the life you'd be providing for others. You may save up to 8 lives through organ donation, and can affect many more through the donation of tissue. Thousands of individuals die every year awaiting transplant, but we have the power to change that.  To learn more, and to register in your state, please follow this link: https://www.giftoflifemichigan.org  


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Jen Monroe 
Grand Rapids, MI
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