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Kick Start Sabrina's New Heart

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Our daughter, Sabrina is a 30-year-old beautiful young woman who was diagnosed with a familial cardiomyopathy and heart failure in 2014.  This past January, Sabrina's condition worsened as a result of a viral illness that attacked her heart.  The cardiologist told us that Sabrina's heart was very weak and she needed to be transferred via ambulance from our community hospital in Saratoga to the Brigham and Women's Hospital for Heart Failure in Boston.

A few days after Sabrina was admitted, one of the transplant team members asked us if we had started fundraising yet.  Shocked, I asked why we would would need to fund raise because none of us expected Sabrina to be placed on the transplant list for many years, if even at all.

Sabrina's doctors discharged her and we travelled home on February 15 with intravenous medication to help her heart pump more effectively.  Unfortunately, she was only home for 10 days when she again needed urgent ambulance transport back to Boston.  On February 28, the doctors implanted a temporary device to help Sabrina's heart function because her other organs began to fail.  Sabrina's surgeons then officially placed her on the heart transplant list.

The next day, March 1, Sabrina underwent open-heart surgery to provide mechanical assistance, which took over the pumping action of her left ventricle.  Because her heart was so weak for so long, Sabrina's right ventricle also failed.  This meant Sabrina needed another mechanical device for the right side of heart.  There were so many complications from this surgery; we thought we were going to lose her.

When the surgeons told us the outcome of her surgery, we knew that Sabrina would not be coming home until she had a heart transplant.  While waiting for a new heart, Sabrina had two more emergency open-heart surgeries. 

I thought we would be in Boston for a very long time because some people wait for a year before a heart becomes available.  Thankfully, only 42 days after being placed on the heart transplant list, Sabrina was blessed with a new heart on April 11th.  We cannot thank her donor family enough and hope that we can meet in person someday.  In the midst of their grief, this family gave our daughter the gift of life.

Sabrina will be on medication for the rest of her life in order to keep her body from rejecting her new heart.  Once home, there will be bi-weekly and monthly visits to the heart transplant center in Boston for biopsies and other testing to make sure her heart is doing well.  These costs will quickly become insurmountable for Sabrina, even with medical insurance.  It is hard for us to ask for assistance for Sabrina, yet so many have asked if there was an avenue such as this established for her benefit.  All of the funds raised will go toward medical expenses, anti-rejection medication and travel to Boston.

Your prayers, love, and support have carried us through the roughest part.  We would greatly appreciate any help you can provide Sabrina as she continues on this new journey.

With our deepest gratitude,
Sandy and John Dahoda


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  • Jennifer Warren
    • $20 
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Sandy Lambe Dahoda
Saratoga Springs, NY

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