24-year-old Jennifer Ortiz had her first heart transplant when she was 12 after she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart while suffering a long-lasting cough, states Georgia Slater of celebrity and human interest news platform People. However, Jennifer’s first transplant worked for only a few years. In 2017, she was recommended and approved for a second transplant. Now, Jennifer is suffering from heart failure.
Unfortunately, she was denied a third transplant from UCLA, which recommended Jennifer to undergo palliative care, also known as end-of-life treatment, as stated by her father, Danny Ortiz. He says, “It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to have to think about burying your own child.” His daughter is surviving with two black bags strapped across her chest, also called BiVADS. The devices in the bags pump blood to each side of Jennifer’s heart, as her heart cannot beat on its own and has no electric activity.
|Photo Credit: Jennifer Ortiz (via Go Fund Me)|
Danny notes, “They’re not designed to be a total artificial heart.” Jennifer was the first person to try BiVADS. Given Jennifer’s numbered days, she decided to create a bucket list and a GoFundMe page. The page managed to raise over $39,000 to help the 24-year-old “enjoy her life to the fullest.”
|Photo Credit: Jennifer Ortiz (via GO Fund Me)|
Her list includes eating beignets in New Orleans, seeing American singer Lizzo in a concert, and celebrating Thanksgiving with her family by renting a house in California. She also wants to travel to New York, Spain, Dubai, and Morocco and meet the Jonas Brothers and Bruno Mars. While Jennifer wants to visit many places, her top priority is going to safe places with “good healthcare in case something happens.”
Danny comments, “We’ve got to condense a lifetime into as much time as we have. It’s a shame that it takes something like this happening to say, ‘Hey, let’s get up and start living.’”