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This fundraiser ended on 11/30/11

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Mandy is a 34 year-old, single mom in Durango, Colorado in need of heart surgery for the second time. Thanks for your much needed support!

I would like to tell you about a remarkable young lady, who has always been very dear to me, and who faces a most desperate situation that most of us couldn't even imagine. Her name is Mandy, and I met her when she was 5 years old. Even then, she was someone with that rare ability to light up a room, just by walking into it.

She was born in 1976, the only child of a single mother, who was also my best friend, Jodie. They said she had a heart murmur, which was a common affliction of newborns. There didn't appear to be cause for concern, considering the fact that most babies grow out of it, except in Mandy’s case.

Mandy had a heart attack at age 29, and had to have open heart surgery to repair her mitral valve. Now, she is 34, and we recently learned that her valve is leaking again, and the leak is severe. Once again, Mandy needs to have open heart surgery. This time they want to replace the valve rather than repair it. She wasn’t able to pay for all of her medical bills for the first surgery, so she had to file bankruptcy a year ago. We are trying to find any organizations or individuals willing to help. She has a daughter to raise, and she will need to be off work for 10 weeks after the operation. The first time, she returned to work only four weeks after the surgery causing her sternum to heal crooked, so one side is ½ inch higher than the other.

I have been researching the subject since I found out about all of this, and have learned about some non-invasive methods, and advanced techniques some doctors are using, along with the excellent results they have achieved. There is one doctor in particular that really impressed me with his work on mitral valve surgery. He is at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, and his name is Dr. David H. Adams. The most I could wish for would be to have him do Mandy’s surgery. He’s the best, and Mandy deserves the best. However, this may be hoping for too much. It would make me very happy to find a qualified surgeon who is willing to come to Colorado, and repair her mitral valve. Your donations could mean the difference between one operation and a lifetime of health, verses the nightmare of repeated open heart surgeries approximately every 10 years, for the rest of her life.

September 18, 2011
Latest update: Mandy’s Cardiologist has been in contact with Dr. Adams in New York, and he does feel he could repair her valve rather than replace it. However, Mandy doesn’t consider this an option because of her financial situation. Because of her bankruptcy, they are already threatening to attach her wages for her current medical bills. The State will only pay part of the costs for this one if she has the surgery done in Colorado. Anything done out of state she would have to bear the entire costs of on her own. And even though her doctor says she can wait a few months, until she has the surgery, she’s at risk of having another heart attack.

September 24, 2011
I just spoke with Mandy's mother, and I understand they have already scheduled the operation for October 19th.

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