Elizabeth Sammons fundraiser to be held Sept. 8

By: 
Patrick Fisher, The New Prague Times

Since June 26 Elizabeth Sammons of Lonsdale has been waiting at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a heart so she can have a transplant operation. For Elizabeth this is her second heart transplant, plus she needs a kidney.

Elizabeth has support from her family, husband Dustin, and their parents Bob and Marcia Sammons of New Prague and Ken and Sandy Uhlir of Lonsdale. There are also Elizabeth’s friends who have come together to help by holding a fundraiser from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, at the Paradise Center for the Arts, 321 Central Ave. N in Faribault. The fundraiser is to help with expenses not covered by insurance. It will have a walking-taco dinner, a silent auction and music by the Fradenburghs.

Marcia Sammons said Elizabeth’s first heart transplant came on June 15, 2015. Elizabeth has had problems with her heart ever since she was a child.

She was going to Abbott Northwestern Hospital after her first heart transplant. Unfortunately there were complications with that heart, plus her kidneys were affected by the drugs she takes from her first heart transplant. She and Dustin and the team at Abbott Northwestern discussed staying there or going to the Mayo Clinic.

“Abbot is an excellent place, but when she started getting more health issues, Dustin and Liz prayed about it and decided to go to Mayo,” said Marcia.

She said that Elizabeth’s friends have offered to donate a kidney, but the doctors have decided the heart should be first. Also, if at all possible, the doctors would like both organs from the same person.

Around the 39th day that Elizabeth was in the hospital there was a heart donation. Marcia said Elizabeth was prepared for surgery. As part of protocol, the surgeon did a final inspection of the heart, but found a defect that would not make it suitable. “When she (Elizabeth) woke up, she was so disappointed,” said Marcia. “It was hard for her to believe it didn’t happen.”

Dustin visits when he can, but is confined to a wheelchair due to a disability. He gets rides from his dad or a friend to Rochester.

Elizabeth’s friends Bev Dechon and Katie Shaumann are coordinating the fundraiser. They chose the Paradise Center for the Arts as Shaumann works there and Elizabeth used to work in Faribault.

“There have already been quite a few donations for the auction and still some are coming in,” said Marcia.

Anyone who would like to help, but can’t attend can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/elizabethsammonshealingheart.

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