Olaf Questereit - Heart to run

$12,145 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 117 people in 2 months
My name is Julie,  I am Olaf's partner and here is his story...

Olaf started his love of running when he was about 12.  As the years went by, a run around the block became runs up and over mountains, a quarter of a mile turned to 100 miles.   In 2008 he was on a training run and noticed he wasn't feeling great. He ended up at the doctor's office sometime later and was diagnosed with heart palpitations and arrhythmias. In 2010 his problems persisted but he did not give up his passion for running.  He ended up with a pacemaker in 2012 and as soon as he could, he was up and running more races. 

Olaf has run 3-100 milers, 42-marathons,17-Ultras, Lotoja, Iron Man and many other events.  Olaf is a member of Salt Lake City Track Club, where he has volunteered for making strides for kids to try and get them involved and enjoy running. He is also involved with the running club H3 and enjoys hiking in the beautiful mountains of Utah.  He has two amazing daughters who also have a love for life and adventure.  

On May 10th 2018, Olaf and I went to the heart failure team at Intermountain Health Care, after his heart rhythm doctors there were at a loss as to why he was feeling worse and worse.  We were informed that Olaf had a genetic disease ARVD and would need a heart transplant. The doctor asked, should we start the testing and work-ups today?  Olaf and I looked at each other with disbelief and fear in our eyes and declined to discuss it any further that day.  We made an appointment for a week later. 

On May 17th, we went back into the clinic to start the paperwork and testing.  As we sat there, we were answering the providers questions and joking with her a bit.  Mid conversation, Olaf fell forward in his chair, like he was tying his shoes, and then boom! One large jolt.  Less than two minutes later, he sat up and said, "that was weird, I just had a dream, did I just get shocked?" The provider and I looked at each other, again with disbelief.  She had him sit up on the exam table and she started checking his vitals.  Again, falling forward he went and again, another large jolt.  His pacemaker shocked him back into rhythm five times.  Three of which he was awake and did not pass out and is very painful.  This, they later told me was a VT storm.  Olaf was admitted to the hospital that day.  Testing was started the next day to get him on the transplant list.  So many providers in and out of his room.  It was extremely overwhelming and shocking. 

One week later, on May 23rd, Olaf went into surgery for a total mechanical heart.  Usually, people have one side or the other of their heart that stops working, Olaf's entire heart was failing.  Surgery took sixteen hours.  The nurses were amazing and sending updates via text every few hours.  I vaguely remember the doctor coming out and saying it was a good thing they did surgery when they did.  "His heart was mush."  His family and I waited and waited for him to wake up in recovery so we could see him and know he was safe, finally after twelve hours, I asked the nurse and was informed that recovery was taking longer than usual and she suggested we go home and get rest.  An hour later, I received a phone call from the surgeon, "we have to open him back up, the artificial heart is not working smoothly and we need to go back in and readjust it."  Finally four very long hours later, I received a call that he was out of surgery and in recovery doing wonderful, but they were going to keep him sedated for a while and we could come back in the morning. 

The doctors decided to keep Olaf sedated for three weeks following surgery.  He was already intubated from surgery, but as the days went on and the doctors were not confident with his status, they decided to put in a feeding tube.  Olaf's kidneys started to fail and he had to be put on dialysis.  ART lines and PICC lines for this and port lines for that.  It was the roughest three weeks for all of us who love and care about Olaf. The day he opened his eyes was a huge relief!

Olaf is currently at the hospital awaiting transplant.  He is 1a on the transplant list and is not allowed to come home until he gets his heart.  He could get a heart tomorrow, or he could be waiting a year.  Treatment for after transplant will never be done.  He will need to be on immunosuppressant drugs and yearly biopsies and testing for the rest of his life.  He needs all the help he can get.  The medical bills have already started accumulating, so any funds as soon as possible are appreciated.  Any little bit will help!
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$12,145 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 117 people in 2 months
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Laurence Brown
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Jim Coletta
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Dan Cripps
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Linette McMonagle
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Debbie Moss
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25 days ago
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25 days ago
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26 days ago
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