Makayla and the family could really use a helping hand. For those who have kept up with Jen's (Makayla's mom) posts over the last 2 years, Makayla's journey on this roller coaster started around 10pm on September 22nd 2017. I remember living Jen's panic, fear, concern and strength through her texts over the next few hours. Keeping me posted on Makayla and her mind occupied sitting there helpless next to her daughter.
"I'm leaving work, Mark called the paramedics"
"She looked bad, we're on the way to the hospital"
"They gave her more medicine at the hospital to bring down her heart rate, but that didn't work either, so they had to shock her"
That was the beginning of a long road and for those who know Makayla, the true showing of strength and a will to win we've all seen over the years. To say Makayla is competitive...would be an understatement.
The next few months and years were filled with tests, hospital stays (at least 10, Jen thinks), procedures, and let's be real...bills. At first Drs were stumped, but after a few days they settled in on it, ARVD or Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia.
Learn about ARVD here!
Makayla battled through it all. She had a defibrillator installed on October 5th 2017 and the family was in a wait and see pattern. Manage the symptoms, enjoy life, take things one moment at a time.
Through it all, Makayla and the family celebrated some major milestones while battling this as well. She became mobile (i.e. got a car), got to fly in a helicopter (her defibrillator went off), graduated High School, and started her freshman year at Longwood University this past fall. All while bouncing back and forth to the hospital for one of her many extended stays or just further testing.
During the start of winter 2019, Makayla's heart issues were starting to become more prominent. Her defibrillator went off a few times while she was at school (each followed by visits to the hospital and more tests) and conditions of her heart were getting pretty bad. A heart transplant wasn't just a topic of conversation anymore, it was becoming a reality. So on Thursday December 5th, she was listed but was able to spend the holidays at home with the family! After Christmas things moved pretty quickly, Makayla was back in the hospital waiting for a new heart.
The call came on Monday December 30th around 11pm. A heart was found and someone's memory would beat on in Makayla early the next morning. The surgery was a success that next morning, taking a little over 5 hours to complete and Makayla is on the mend. Of course, she's kicking butt and taking names. She was out of her bed and in a chair on day 2 and walking the halls of the hospital on day 3! She checked out of ICU that day as well and has a room to herself (and mom!) as she recovers more and regains her strength!
So through all of Makayla's strength and Jen, Mark and the rest of the family's strength, it's time that we step in and help and support so that they can put this behind them. They are a proud people who normally don't ask for these things, so we've taken the reigns and are asking for them. The medical expenses have piled up over the years, they've tried to continue and uninterrupted lifestyle for Makayla, her sister Addy and 2 brothers Benjamin and Calvin, but it hasn't been easy.
Give what you can, a simple note of encouragement can go a long way!
We love you guys!
I promised a TLDR, so here it is:
Makayla had a bum heart, she got it replaced, she's 18, single and looking for love (whoops, wrong website!), and we're pulling together to help lighten their financial burden. Give a little, give a lot, or just give a note letting her know how awesome she is.
- Todd Martinsen
- John Kronstain
- Susan Flowers
- Richard Lawrence
Fundraising team (4)
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