Matthew Haynes Heart Transplant
Words can’t describe the love that my family has for this young man and his family. We met Matthew when our daughter, Emily went to school with him in 5th grade. I had the privilege of chaperoning a trip to the Grand Canyon that year and met his mom, Jennifer, at which time we instantly connected. I found out on that trip that Matthew was born with a heart defect, at that time she said “one day he will need a heart transplant”. That day came, this year by the grace of God, Matthew has had a successful heart transplant at only 18 years of age. Jennifer has found herself a single mom this year, she is handling the challanges as they come, but it is overwhelming and more than anyone person can handle, alone. Jennifer is humble and doesn’t want to ask for help, but I find myself needing to tell her story in hopes of helping her to get some relief from medical bills, co-pays, hospital bills, ongoing therapy that Matthew will need in the next several months or even years to get him to a place where he is healthy and living a good and full life that any mother wants for there 18 year old child. Jennifer has served our country in the United States Marines, deployed twice to Iraq and is now a retired combat veteran. Jennifer is currently unable to work fulltime to support herself and her kids, as her priority right now is caring for Matthew, getting him to and from hospital visits, therapy and all necessary appointments. I am asking and praying for the kindness of each person that reads this, that they will share Matthew's story with as many people as possible to help raise money for ongoing medical expenses, hospital bills as well as expenses to keep the family in their home without the threat of loosing the only home they have.
Please read Matthew’s full medical story here from his mother, Jennifer. It is below:
Matthew is an 18 year old son, brother, grandson, and uncle who was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome at birth. Since Matthew was born, he has had 4 open heart surgeries by 2 years of age along with many hospitalizations and heart catheterizations throughout his 18 years of life. Despite the trials with his health, Matthew is an energetic, kind, courageous, smart, and loving young man. He is a senior at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, CA and wants nothing more than to live the life every 18 year-old should be living.
In the beginning of this year, Matthew was admitted to Rady Children's Hospital San Diego for massive swelling of the entire right side of his body. Doctors discovered his heart was in atrial fibrillation (A-Fib). Normally, your heart contracts and relaxes to a regular beat. In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart (the atria) beat irregularly (quiver) instead of beating effectively to move blood into the ventricles.
Matthew was also diagnosed with Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE). Protein-losing enteropathy is characterized by the severe loss of serum proteins into the intestine. Albumin loss through the gastrointestinal tract normally accounts for 2-15% of the total body degradation of albumin, but, in patients with severe protein-losing gastrointestinal disorders, the enteric protein loss may reach up to 60% of the total albumin pool.
In March, Matthew’s medical case was discussed at a cardiology conference at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). By this point, doctors seen a significant decrease in his heart function. It was determined Matthew needed a heart transplant. Matthew was on the transplant waiting list for 5 months. On August 21, 2017 we received the call that Matthew matched for a heart. On August 22, 2017 at 6:20am Matthew’s second chance at life began as his donated heart began to beat in his chest.
His post-transplant course has been complicated by the following: subdural hematoma, central nervous system air embolism, right leg compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomy, two skin grafting surgeries to his right leg, and a recent readmission (Dec 1-3, 2017). Matthew has required significant rehabilitation, close monitoring, and tremendous support from his medical team and his mother throughout his post-transplant course. All heart transplant patients require 24/7 caregiver support post-transplant, in Matthew's case, given his setbacks and continuous needs, it is estimated he will need this support for at least a year post-transplant. Throughout the transplant process Matthew’s mom has been serving in the role as his 24/7 caregiver while also raising her 4 year old daughter on her own. She has been present with Matthew through each hospitalization, at each procedure, and at every appointment. Matthew's current needs include: ongoing supervision, ongoing home monitoring of Matthew's condition, medication management, coordinating medical appointments, coordinating occupational and physical therapy, transportation to and from all medical appointments, procedures/rehabilitation, assistance with activities of daily living, assistance with meals, and daily ongoing emotional support. It is imperative to Matthew's wellbeing that Matthew’s mom continue to be available to serve in the role as 24/7 caregiver to him for as long as he may need this. As a single mother and unable to work outside the home due to Matthew’s needs, finances are extremely difficult and add mountains of additional stress.
Transplants are life-saving, but the costs are astronomical. We all look forward to seeing Matthew live a full life. Matthew has medical insurance, however, since the transplant out of pocket expenses (co-pays, deductibles, doctor visits, travel) have become much more than anticipated due to Matthew’s complicated road.
Additionally, Matthew donated his own heart to research at Rady Children’s Hospital. Prior to giving permission to release his heart to the research cardiologist, Matthew had the amazing opportunity to see and hold HIS OWN HEART!! This is something no human being ever gets to experience. Matthew decided to donate his heart to research in hopes of finding a cure to his congenital heart defect which will help so many others from enduring what he has had to endure. This alone speaks to his character of selflessness, courage, and compassion.