When the holidays come around, family naturally follows. Children stock up on candy canes and cookies. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles tell stories. Parents try to keep things in order and have fun at the same time. People give gifts, traditions play out, all have fun.
But what happens if a relative is sick? Hospital visits, medical bills, and other problems can flip the fun family time upside-down. If the unthinkable happens, celebrations can turn to mourning.
So it was for John and his family.
John is married and has four young children. He worked hard to support his family, and tries his best to be a good husband and father.
In 2011, John was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a rare heart condition. “Back then,” said John, “my cardiologist didn’t explain to me how serious the condition was.” The problem was, HCM is very serious.
Unaware of this, John continued his career as a police officer. Five years passed as John continued living his life. But the physical aspects of his job made the symptoms of HCM clear. John began to experience extreme shortness of breath. He suffered from chest pain and irregular heart beat. His physician found his bloodwork was out of balance. “I was referred to a new cardiologist,” said John, “and he stated my condition was beginning to worsen.”
As time went on, John’s condition only got worse. He was put on medication, which had adverse side effects. Between the original problem and the side effects of medication, he had to stop working. His wife’s job was now the only source of income. This put a burden on John and his family. In his words, they “faced extreme financial difficulty.”
John began to research his condition and possible treatments. He found one, a surgery called a septal myectomy. This open-heart surgery would alleviate the symptoms of HCM. “It would possibly return me to my life that I was able to have before,” said John. The only problem: the best surgical center was too far away, and travel was too expensive.
Luckily, Mercy Medical Angels and the Hogan Foundation helped. They helped coordinate flights so John could travel to receive the surgery. “Without Mercy Medical Angels and the Hogan Foundation,” said John, “receiving this procedure would have been nearly impossible.”
Straight from the Heart
John is now on his way to recovery. He says that Mercy Medical Angels and the Hogan Foundation saved his life.
“My family is so grateful for what Mercy Medical Angels and the Hogan Foundation have done for us. Once my health improves, we can give back what we can.”
This holiday will probably be different for John and his family. But with his health coming back and his family by his side, John has a reason to celebrate.