Jennifer is now 22 years old and has undergone too many surgeries and hospital visits to count. The most recent surgery was having a bi-ventricular assisted device placed on her left and ride side of her transplanted heart. She is the first patient at UCLA medical center to undergo this surgery with having had two previous heart transplants. The VAD is assisting and doing the work the heart is not able to perform. So, if and when her heart fails, the device will keep her alive. At this time our family is trying to come to terms with the idea of this being a destination therapy vs a bridge to transplant. Jennifer is not a candidate for a 3rd transplant at this time because of her sensitivity to donated organs and her current health status. I am raising money to help my sister and my family with expenses for the next 3-4 months she will be required to live away from home, in the UCLA area. This is not only for bills, temporary housing and travel expenses, but to improve Jennifer’s overall living conditions.
Those that know Jennifer, know that she is an inspiration because of her courage, humbleness and compassion for others. She’s a true role model to all the kids she works with and teaches. She inspires them and others who cross her path to be strong and brave. We’re not sure what the future holds for Jennifer, nor how long we will be able to enjoy her beautiful smile. She deserves to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. We are trying to minimize any restrictions that that would come from financial constraints.
We are raising money to give her the best quality of life now and when she returns to Colorado with her family and loved ones. We hope for every last wish Jennifer has, to be made possible.
“2016 - I would like to start by thanking everyone for reading our story.
As many of you are aware, my sister Jennifer Ortiz had a heart transplant when she 12 years young. She had a congenital heart defect That led to her heart being 3x the size of a normal heart size. Within 3 days of being on the transplant list, Jennifer received a new heart and she was better then ever! Jennifer has been in and out of the hospital with various issues during her recovery.
It has been over 9 years since she's received a new heart and almost every year, Jennifer has been back in the hospital for rejections, sickness', and more. About a year and a half ago the cardiac team at university hospital decided Jennifer was in need of a new heart. She is now on the unos transplant list for her second heart. About two weeks ago, Jennifer was admitted in to the hospital thinking she has pneumonia or something similar. As of recently, the doctor's informed us that Jennifer is undergoing heart failure and a kidney injury. They have put her on dialysis for her kidney injury and took her off the medication for her heart as they were too toxic for her kidneys. The medicine may have been amplifying the kidney issues. A few days ago she was moved up on the transplant list from a 2 to a 1b. Unfortunately , because of the kidney injury, she is not a good candidate for a new heart if it becomes available. Once she is healthy and her kidneys are functioning properly, it will be a waiting game for the new heart.
Jennifer has been and will have to be hospitalized until her second heart transplant. Because this is a very serious matter (her receiving a second heart because she isn't doing well instead of waiting till her turn came up when she was healthy) my family has been working very hard to make sure someone is with Jennifer at all times. We never know what can happen. We will update everyone as things progress.
Again, I thank you for listening to my sisters story. The funds will help pay all of Jennifer's bills that she is incurring and will continue to pile up as she moves on to recovery. She will not be able to work for a while. The financial burden is only one a small part of issues but I am trying to help her out with as much as possible .
Any donation helps, and if you can not donate at this time, we ask for you to send a prayer our way. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me as I will be able to answer. As of right now, Jennifer is not accepting visitors (she's in the ICU and is very weak) but I will gladly send her any cards, gifts, etc. her way when I go visit her.
Please help by sharing our story with others and/or donating to her cause so that she may return to the lifestyle that she deserves. We all would love to see her smile outside the hospital walls again.
You don't understand how much my family appreciates you all. God bless.”