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Stories of hope

Melissa Arias: Fighting for a heart

Tommy and Melissa

This is the story of my little brother Tommy.

8 years ago, at only 25, Tommy became Ill with congestive heart failure out of nowhere. For over 6 years, he has had an LVAD (Heart pump) to keep him alive. He has endured 3 open heart surgeries, and 2 defibrillator surgeries. He’s had my defibrillator fire. He’s spent countless days and nights away from family and friends in the confines of a hospital bed. He is currently in his 3rd hospital in the past 2 weeks and just had surgery after going through a rigorous therapy of antibiotics due to an unknown staph infection in his bloodstream.

He has had to fight to live for the last 3,283 days. Tommy deserves a chance at life. He’s barely had the chance to live his yet. He’s spent the last 8 years waiting for the chance to live his from the sidelines.

There’s no one who loves him more than his nieces and nephews. His goddaughter thinks that her uncle really is superman. At only 6 years old, she understands that ‘uncle’ needs a heart transplant. She draws him pictures of him before and after heart transplant and makes him presents constantly to help him feel better. They are waiting for the day he can come play in the pool with them without his LVAD.

His long story summed up…. he has waited over 6 years to receive a heart transplant, in the greatest country in the world. We still do not know when he will get that call, or if he will even survive long enough to see that day come true. For those of you who are registered organ donors, my sincerest appreciation. For those who are not, it isn’t too late to become an organ donor. Please consider registering. In the unlikely and unfortunate event something does happen to you, wouldn’t you want to save another life? Your donation could keep a young father alive to see his kids grow up, a child to see adulthood, etc. You cant take them with you when you die. Please spread awareness of organ donation registration to anyone you can. Because you may know someone waiting for a heart. No one should have to wait 6+ years for a chance at a future.

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