Zachary Berkheimer's Transplant Recovery Fund

Zack Berkheimer is like every other 27-year-old guy; he has a huge personality with a great sense of humor.  Besides the regular accolades which are all true, he is extremely hardworking, honest and one of the most caring individuals you will ever meet, his personality shines supreme.

As Zack’s Dad I am slightly biased. But, ask anyone who knows him - family, friends, girlfriend, college buddies, co-workers; Zack’s genuine caring nature combined with his quick wit will endear him to you for life.

Zack’s back story is pretty simple, he is a regular kid, grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, plays sports, goes to school, doesn’t love school, but works hard and does well, goes to college, loves it, graduates with a business degree and joins a start-up company, where he has remained and thrived.  That’s the regular kid story.

Oh, I forgot to mention, at the age of 10 he saved his Mom’s life when her heart stopped, performing CPR in our kitchen.  It turns out the heart condition that affected his Mom, who also received a heart transplant, was hereditary and Zack drew the short straw in the family, sparing his older sister. 

Zack has a condition called familial dilated cardiomyopathy causing the heart muscle to weaken over time. We were hoping this would be a slower process than it has turned out to be. At the beginning of the year, doctors informed Zack that his heart was deteriorating rapidly and a heart transplant would be likely by mid-year. 

Zack was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital on June 3rd, 2020 and received a heart on July 11th.  This is an emotional time. One should always remember the gift of life and ultimate selfless act of kindness which the donor and donor’s family have given.  

Unfortunately for Zack, all did not go as planned and there were complications with the donor heart during surgery.  This has resulted in numerous setbacks for Zack since his surgery on July 11th.  Most of Zack’s organs have been affected and currently lack normal function. He is in critical condition and sedated, but has made small gains in the last couple days giving us hope.  It is in Zack’s favor that prior to transplantation he was perfectly healthy and strong, other than his heart. Doctors are hopeful that because of his young age and overall good health he will be able to recover from this traumatic experience.  However, instead of the anticipated several week recuperation time, Zack’s recovery will more likely be several months in the hospital followed by major at-home rehabilitation.  I can only pray that this will result in a full recovery or at least close to it.

This leads me to the next part of Zack’s journey; the outpouring of love has been beyond compare.  Everyone who knows Zack, or knows of Zack, has asked to help and assist in his recovery beyond prayers and good wishes.  It has never crossed our minds to ask for any financial support, and quite honestly, our family has been quite fortunate to never need assistance. Although, we have never gone through anything quite this traumatic, requiring such a projected long rehabilitation.  Many individuals wanted and suggested a “Go Fund Me” account which I was not sure about.  However, after thinking about it and having concerns regarding the unknown, I have reluctantly agreed. This is strictly under the condition that all donations given to Zack will be used only for Zack’s care related directly to this event. If we are fortunate enough that Zack makes a full recovery and monies donated are not used, funds will go to a cardiac related charity in Zack’s name, while honoring those that donated to Zack’s Recovery Fund.

I want to personally thank everyone for their extremely kind thoughts, well wishes and prayers that are being said for Zack’s full recovery.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Amelia & Ryan Luchey 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Joseph Stumbroski 
    • $200 
    • 3 d
  • Nick Hudak 
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Angelo Voxakis 
    • $90 
    • 7 d
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Ashley Berkheimer Gemon 
Organizer
Raised $4,380 from 47 donations
Nottingham, MD
Bob Berkheimer 
Team member
Raised $14,975 from 31 donations
Carly Cannon 
Team member
Raised $3,420 from 34 donations
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