Latest update as of Sep 09, 2023

  • 9/8/2023

    Here is the most current update on Michelle.

    During her last treatment, last week, Michelle’s heart rate kept escalating. Come to find out, there was an infection in Michelle’s catheter. Michelle underwent surgery to remove the catheter, and underwent an additional surgery to see what further damage the infection has created. Below is what I received today.

    “Today the infectious disease doctors told me that I’ll be on antibiotics for more than 6 weeks and will possibly be IV form in addition to pills. The blood clot that formed from the catheter is also infected and it is resting right on some of my Pacemaker/defibrillator wires. They will have to remove my device to try and get all of the infection out. This means they may have to keep me in hospital longer since I won’t be able to leave the hospital once it’s removed until they put in a new one. I’m also on Heparin 24-7 at this point. I mean they literally have this IV running nonstop.
    They did determine without a doubt that the infection was caused by the catheter which is always a risk when having them put in.

    I just got some more news from the doctor, which is very upsetting, but a glimpse of hope. At the same time they are working to fight figure out when they are going to remove my current pacemaker defibrillator. This pacemaker defibrillator has an infection on the wires of it, which means no matter how many times they give me antibiotics and heparin for the blood clot. It will continue to come back the only way to remove it is to remove the whole machine at the next very expensive process because of how long it’s been in my body and the scar tissue they found around it once they take it off. I will be in the hospital for a very extended period of time until they can put a new one in. I’m scared lost feeling hopeless in a sense and just praying that somehow my family can survive without me there”.

    Please keep those prayers coming!!!

About this fundraiser

Hi! My name is Michelle, and I am a mother of 5 and a wife. While I refuse to let it define me, I am in need of a heart transplant, so my daily life is very different than many. Over the past year, my heart has progressively gotten worse to the point that I am now in need of a transplant. We knew the day would come but were hopeful for some time that we could hold off. We have held this off for the last 5 years with the assistance of a pacemaker and defibrillator, however, over the last few months, I have had numerous events closer together that have resulted in my heart function being drastically reduced. Being a mother of five children while going through this has been the hardest part of it all. We are struggling to make ends meet while I cannot work. My husband has to take off work to get me to appointments, and even on too many occasions, my teenage sons have had to miss school to drive me to appointments. Outside of my children and husband having to drop everything to help, (something I never want my kids to have to see or do), it kills me to see them hurting when my heart stops. Once I am alive and stable again, I see the pain, hurt, and fear in their eyes, wondering like I too, have recently, if I will be able to make it through this for another hug, another “I Love You”, another smile.  In 2012, I was evalutated by an amazing cardiologist and it was determined that I had viral cardiomyopathy. In the perfect world my body would have fought off the infection but this imperfect world had other plans. This started by heart battle. In 2013 I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and spent a lot of time in the hospital while trying to adjust to the many health changes. In Feb of 2017, I went to the hospital feeling unwell and left 7 days later after going into cardiac arrect multiple times as well as having a Pacemaker/Defibrillator implanted due to torsade's. Over the years I have went into torsade's and V-Fib randomly. This has been the year of hospitals, scares, fear, and hope. Earlier this year we received an update letter from UNOS showing I have been approved for transplant and am listed. This letter gave us all a little more hope. In September of this year, I was hospitalized again for over two weeks and due to my heart's current state, an exception request was sent to UNOS by my transplant team. UNOS responded back approving the Exception which pushed me closer to the top of the list. This led to 10 weeks of continuous intravenous treatments at home with my home healthcare team. We have had to add more medicines to my daily prescriptions, I am on daily antibiotics, blood thinners, infusions and more. 

We have taken a financial hit with all the appointments, copays, medical bills, prescriptions, and everything else that comes with my heart issues. While I feel that it is my job as a mom to be able to provide for my children and make life amazing for them, I am at a point where that is just not possible anymore. The additional increase of bills, and the upcoming transplant has added stress that I am trying to avoid. All funds raised will go directly to medical bills, appointments, transportation (gas) to appointments, prescriptions, caregiver fees as needed, and will be put aside for those expenses that are to come as this heart transplant is a lifelong change that requires more than I can possibly do.  I appreciate you taking the time to read the tiniest part of my story and appreciate any possible donation you may be able to make. 

12/8/23- These past few months have been full of appointments every other day, labs daily/weekly, home healthcare, midlines and central lines, infusions, lots of fatigue, and pain. We have made it through Thanksgiving and with the help and close monitoring from my transplant care team, we are doing all we can to keep me out of the hospital to be home and celebrate Christmas and the New Year with my family. After the New Year, we will discuss hospital admission again and additional steps we can take. My Pacemaker/Defibrillator has 1.5 years left on it and we need to transplant before then. The damage done to my heart from the machine saving me so often has resulted in doctors not being able to safely swap out the battery/machine until transplant. 

As time goes on, updates will be posted by myself, my husband and my best friend Melissa! Thanks again for going on this heart transplant journey with us. 

Thank you for taking the time to read about even just a tiny part of my transplant journey. If you are able to, please contribute by hitting the DONATE button and give whatever you can. Truly every dollar makes a difference. Any and every donation is sincerely appreciated and is a true blessing.

Organized by

Michelle Liles

San Tan Valley, AZ, USA