I'd like to introduce you to my best friend, Erin. I have blogged about her before, but a lot has changed since then!
Erin is 33, and is currently in the hospital awaiting a heart and liver transplant. (She is listed with UNOS as a 1B, but is expected to be bumped to a 1A, which is top priority, any day now.)
Erin was born with several complex congenital heart defects, or CHDs, and the Fontan surgery that saved her life as a child has caused her internal pressures to go nuts, and this, over many years, has begun destroying her liver.
This is something doctors didn't realize would happen 20+ years ago when they started performing this surgery. They are just starting to see the long term effects of the Fontan NOW, and unfortunately, my best friend is among the first to experience life-threatening complications.
Erin is currently in advanced stages of heart and liver failure, so the doctors have told her it's no longer safe to be home. She will be living in the hospital until transplant, which could be months away. There is no absolute waiting time to receive donor organs, as donors do not typically plan their own passing. Organs become available whenever they do, so this means people like my friend are playing a waiting game, while praying they can hold on long enough......
Erin is a beautiful human being. She is kind, compassionate, and worries about others more than she does herself most of the time. Spending the Holidays in the hospital is going to be VERY difficult for her. She is away from her husband, as well as her dog, Zeus. Her mother is there with her, thank God, but still...This time of year is sure to be tough on her. If anyone is sending out Christmas cards and has an extra to spare, please consider sending one to her.
She can receive mail, and I know that it would mean a lot to her. Mail can be sent to:
Gift of Life Family House
C/O Jeff, Crystal, and Erin Grimm (Room 404)
401 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Along with cards, other things that may be helpful to her family during this difficult time are:
- Gas station gift cards for the Mid-Atlantic region. (Think PA, VA, WV, DC, MD)
- Restaurant Gift Cards (Meals for her family and caregivers come out of pocket.)
- Hotel Gift Cards (Her family must pay for accommodations during this lengthy process.)
- Books, magazines, and other things to help pass the time.
- Erin LOVES things like makeup, nail polish, etc.
Thanks so much! If you have any questions, please let me know.
Also, Erin does have a Facebook page chronicling her journey. Just search "Erin's Transplant Journey" and you can learn all about what she is facing right now.
She also has a fundraising site through HelpHopeLIVE. This site is similar to a GoFundMe, but with accountability. Funds raised are tax-deductible, and this service ensures that all funds raised go towards medically-related costs.
Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help! I know this is super scary for my friend, and I am hoping to bring some happiness to her this Holiday season!