We are Monique Uyeda, Connie Levine and Kristen Yakubisin. We are friends of Jen and Luke Howard, and we are asking for your help as they prepare for their son Landon to receive a new heart!
Please help us support the Howards as they incur significant financial burdens in the coming months: funding uncovered medical expenses, traveling during the evaluation and transplant process, and preparing their home to promote Landon's health and well-being post-transplant.
Landon was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) during a routine ultrasound when Jen was pregnant. Now at 15 years old, Landon has undergone approximately 20 surgical procedures including fetal surgery, five open-heart surgeries, two pacemaker procedures, and eleven heart catheterizations. Landon has since acquired Sick Sinus Syndrome and his liver is now in mid-stage fibrosis, likely caused by Fontan Liver Disease due to his restructured heart anatomy. Multiple transplant teams now agree the current condition of Landon's heart warrants a heart transplant.
Though San Diego, CA is home to excellent pediatric physicians, when Landon was a baby Jen and Luke traveled to Children’s Hospital Boston to find the best level of care that addressed Landon's complicated condition. They are once again faced with finding the best facility to address Landon's needs. After much research, the Howard family has decided that the heart transplant program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is likely the best option for Landon. Jen and Landon will be traveling to Stanford for an outpatient evaluation November 17-19, then return home to celebrate Thanksgiving with Luke and his two sisters, Kahlan and Emi. After the team at Stanford presents Landon's case on December 3, Jen and Landon will likely return for him to be admitted as they wait for Landon's new heart.
From that point forward, it is difficult to know how long they'll be gone, possibly up to one year. The family will make arrangements for visits to northern California, and Luke will periodically take Jen's place for a few days here and there. However, for the most part, Jen and Landon will be up north and Luke and the girls will stay in San Diego. The travel expenses will add up quickly, and Jen will be unable to work while she stays with Landon in the hospital.
Additionally, part of this complicated process is getting their home ready for Landon to return following the heart transplant. Due to the ongoing construction of a road in the canyon behind their house over the past few years, which can be problematic to recovery post transplant, their home will require several upgrades to protect Landon's health. This includes removal of all carpet in their home and replacement with hard surface flooring, and the need for high quality air purifiers throughout their house as construction continues.
Though the Howard's have been well versed in Landon's care since he was born; and have known that a transplant was likely in his future, this is still all new territory for them. We are now asking you, their friends and family, to make a donation to The Howard Family to ease some of the burden they will face as they embark on this new medical journey for Landon.
We (and the Howard Family) appreciate all your support during this difficult but promising time in Landon's life.
Monique Uyeda, Connie Levine and Kristen Yakubisin
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