Lilly’s Heart Surgery


After a long wait, Lilly has finally had her surgery. She is currently in the ICU but from what we’ve heard, she did amazing!  The doctor said everything went smooth. They closed the large hole and repaired the valve they knew about. They did find a second valve that was leaking and repaired it as well which somehow had the side effect of closing the small hole at the bottom of her heart. We will update everyone as we know more but as of right now everything is very promising! Thank you all for your love and support, we are so very grateful! 

Please feel free to continue sharing as every contribution is such a huge help! 


As many of you know, Lilly Cotner is in desperate need of a very serious heart surgery. 

To say she has had one heck of a year is a gross understatement. January of 2019, she went through one of the most painful things anyone can go through. The loss of a child. Alexander passed away under very sad circumstances leaving behind his 1 year old daughter and girlfriend whom Lilly took in and continues to support today.
She swears that losing her son of 18 years, literally broke her heart.  Not long after his death, she suffered the loss of her father and two fur babies (Sami & Danny). To say it never gets any easier losing the ones we love is very true. Even with everything she’s gone through, she has remained insanely strong and constantly willing to put others needs before her own. 

Throughout Everything,  Lilly suffered quietly from an underlying heart condition that was masked with symptoms similar to anxiety, depression, and severe stress. All of which were “diagnosed” by multiple doctors. After trying out different ER’s and clinics, and attempting to find someone who would take her pain seriously, she finally found a doctor willing to do extra testing. Low and behold it was worse than anyone could have imagined. Not only does she have a severe heart condition, it is very rare and no one near home is qualified to help her.  Luckily there is said to be a skilled surgeon in Utah equipped to take her on. 
Just when we felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and we were going to be able to get her the help she needed... bring on COVID19. 

All “non-essential” surgeries canceled along with “unnecessary” travel. Well, she couldn’t possibly fall into that category right? WRONG. 
Even though all of her doctors are saying she needed this surgery ASAP, COVID had other plans. 

Unfortunately Lilly  had to be put on hold for even longer. Temporarily they put her on very high doses of blood pressure medication in hopes of keeping her kidneys functioning. Sadly it has left her unable to do much of anything leaving her in bed most days. Which, if you know her, you’d know that is against everything in her. She should be outside wrangling horses, playing with her granddaughter, riding four wheelers and doing anything that involves fast pace and fresh air. 

To give a little more context on the severity of the surgery, here are the details we know: 

It will be open heart surgery where they will stop her heart for the entire length of the procedure. 6 whole hours with two cardio specialists. 
She has two holes. The smaller one in the lower chamber  shouldn’t require more than a few stitches to close, the larger and more significant in the upper chamber is 2cm big and will require a patch that will hopefully have her own tissues grow over it. Her mitral valve is deformed and the leaflets aren’t closing all of the way. They are hoping to save the valve however if they are unable to, they will have to replace it with either a metal or pig/cow valve. Using the metal valves would mean she has to be on blood thinners the rest of her life, and the pig/cow would need replaced every 8-10 years. There is an added concern that her aortic valve is narrowing along with another valve needing repaired due to it not functioning. 
With all of this going on, she has been in pain from the higher volume of blood that is circulating  in her lungs.
To top it all off, with the coronavirus, she will have to be 100% alone through it all. No one is allowed to accompany her to her pre op appointment, nor is she allowed to have anyone with her during the 7-10 days in recovery. Not even her husband.

Since it is out of state and her husband cannot stay in the hospital, they are accruing travel and board costs on top of everything. As of right now she is scheduled to have surgery May 21st. 

The most recent estimate for the surgery is no less than $400k with out of pocket costs being upwards of 30%.

This leaves a huge amount of money that she will be responsible for post surgery. 

We aren't ones to ask for help, however I think this qualifies as a desperate need! 

Anything anyone has has to contribute is so greatly appreciated. 

Please share and reach out to me should you have any questions! 


-Lilly’s daughter, Cierra

**update, we’ve had some folks request to donate through PayPal. If you would like to contribute that way instead of the Gofundme, please send to [email redacted]. THANK YOU! ❤️❤️

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  • Brynna Mathews 
    • 50 $ 
    • 26 mos
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    • 50 $ 
    • 26 mos
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    • 100 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Cheryl and Sarah Gerla 
    • 200 $ 
    • 26 mos
  • Elaine Hofstadter  
    • 50 $ 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Cierra Johnson 
Nampa, ID
Lillian Cotner