Latest update as of Jul 16, 2023

  • Getting better every day!!

    Post-surgery+ 10 days and Catharine continues to get better every day! Her appetite is increasing, she's feeling less chest discomfort, her energy is improving and she's looking forward to getting back to living life!

    She will return to Houston for a 1-month checkup in a few weeks!

    Getting better every day!!

About this fundraiser

Catharine was born as a ‘blue baby’, she had a hole in her heart.  At just nine months old, she was flown from west Texas to Houston where she underwent open heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital.

She’s always lived life to its fullest in all the moments given and created the most beautiful family. She was an avid runner for decades, a loyal member of the YMCA and a trusted Pilates instructor. Her greatest joys have been the role of a mom to Catie, Ashley Claire, Carson, and Charlotte and in recent years, becoming Gigi to Blakely and Emmaline. Her prayers today consist of hopeful pleas that she can continue to be a witness to and an active participant in the lives of those that mean the most to her and those not yet born. 

Despite challenging situations and events that have come her way throughout life, she’s always remained faithful and committed to God, her family, friends, and anyone she connects with. She shows up with smiles, creates laughter and is full of a lot of crazy fun! 

In ‘96, her body started showing signs of weakness despite her very healthy lifestyle.  Her lung began to collapse repeatedly and in ‘97 and she underwent surgery that suspended her lung to her chest wall to prevent collapse.  At the time, there was no indication that the lung issues were related to her heart issue from birth, but now that she has learned more about how dire her heart situation is, it has been revealed they are likely related.

Catharine suffers with rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and intermittent feelings of pain, heaviness in her chest, high blood pressure, extreme fatigue, depression, and anxiety for many years now.  Her primary care doctor concluded that she needed to be seen and treated by a cardiologist.  Dr. Baker, her primary care physician in Dallas referred her to Dr. Sidhu, a fellow in-network cardiologist, also here in Dallas. All necessary testing was done, and it was determined that Catharine’s pulmonary valve had a substantial leak, and her heart was significantly weakening.  A valve replacement would be necessary for her survival.  The intricacy and out of the ordinary needs of an adult congenital heart patient made finding a heart surgeon that could & would perform this surgery was very difficult. Her case was sent to 5 different surgeons, in-network through her BCBS HMO coverage, and none were able to perform the necessary surgery.

Catharine was referred back to Texas Children’s Hospital, Adult Congenital Heart Unit back in Houston where her parents had accompanied her for her life saving heart surgery 60 years earlier.  The heart surgeon in Houston, Dr. Qureshi was introduced as the only heart surgeon that was going to be able to perform the surgery that would allow Catharine to continue living life. Her surgery was scheduled for February 14th, 2023, and arrangements were made for travel, lodging, care and tough decisions and moves were made in anticipation of this surgery.  In the days leading up to the scheduled surgery, hopelessness began to seep in when news was received that the valve that was needed, was not ready to be released by the FDA. (The only other valve available was not an option because of lung issues).  Furthermore, Blue Cross Blue Shield notified Dr. Qureshi that they were going to deny covering the surgery because he was out-of-network despite Catharine’s worsening condition. All of her physicians have since submitted letters of medical necessity to BCBS.  

Catharine needs financial help to get the necessary surgery that is required to continue living & reduce the incredible stress that she endures while trying to work and to take care of her necessities.  Please help in any way that you are able; financially but even more importantly prayerfully.  Catharine welcomes your prayers until the Lord provides healing.

Update 5/6/23:  Surgery has now been scheduled for 7/6/23.  Catharine will go for her pre-surgery visit on 6/2/23.  Thank you again for your prayers & support!

Update:  Out of network benefits have now been approved for Catharine's surgery.  However, due to the high deductible for these benefits, out of pocket expenses for medications, travel, lodging & home health care & support staff the financial burden is substantial.


Organized by

Catharine Collins

Forney, TX, USA