Earlier this year, I finally agreed with my cardiologists recommendation - to pursue being a heart transplant candidate - little did I know what that would include and I was IN. Willing to do whatever it takes to have a new healthy heart and long life!
It was unknown how long it would take to receive a heart. Every day I kept the faith and my hopes up and focused on what I had created - a new life of adventure and discovery. There definitely were days when I wondered, and I had a community of uplifting people around me that helped me stay positive.
After admittance, I was full-time in the ICU being observed. I had contracted a bacterial infection and my life was slowly slipping way. Until the infection came under control, I was taken-off the transplant list, which made the situation extra critical and stressful. Luckily, in two weeks, they got the infection under control and placed me back on the heart transplant list.
On August 29th, 2017, I received word that there was a heart available for me that was ‘a match’. (Although my heart goes to the family who lost their loved one) I was ready for surgery, “Lets do this!” Very happy to say that I am now a proud heart-transplant recipient! Waking up after the surgery was surreal. I couldn’t believe I had a new heart! The doctors and nurses were surprised how much walking I could do just after the surgery.
I was recently released from the hospital on September 23rd, which was a good yet strange transition, after ‘living’ in the hospital for months. Sending a ginormous shout-out to the dedicated doctors and nurses who cared for me day in and day out while I was in the hospital. Words cannot describe my level of gratitude for them, and all of the friends and family who came to visit me.
I am home now with a low rejection level which is good, and healing, recovering and gaining my strength back. Right now, I have about 10-20% of my strength. Your amazing contributions will give me the peace of mind to heal and fully recover.
Now that I have my new heart, I do not want to over do it - my head wants to but my body isn’t strong enough. Your generous donations will help me cover my mortgage, onsite home support, food and other bills for the next 4-6 month.
Because of your generosity, I am paying-it-forward to other transplant patients. The nurses have asked me to speak to other patients who need a little inspiration and motivation to keep their chin-up. I’m excited to drop in on the unit when I’m down at the hospital for testing and appointments 2 to 3 times a week. Maybe someone just wants to talk or a companion to walk-outside with.
Thank you for donating any amount you can.
- Gayle Sweeney
- Lauren Stevens
- Debbie Wilson
- Kristen Moeller
- Gayle Sweeney
Organizer and beneficiary
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