60-year-old Hedda Martin has been given a second chance after she was denied a heart transplant for a lack of money and her story subsequently went ‘viral’ on social media.
Hedda, who has congestive heart failure caused by damage to her heart from chemotherapy she underwent while fighting breast cancer, announced In a Facebook post on Monday. A transplant committee with Spectrum Health will now decide if she is eligible for a new heart. This announcement comes after the Grand Rapids-based hospital system denied her a life-saving surgery in a letter that was widely shared on social media.
According to the letter, Spectrum Health’s Heart & Lung Specialized Care Clinics denied Hedda’s transplant request “due to needing more secure financial plan for immunosuppressive medication coverage” and recommended a fundraising effort for $10,000. Upon learning of his mother’s predicament, Hedda’s son started a GoFundMe campaign that quickly went viral. The GoFundMe raised $5,000 within 2 hours of its posting and accomplished its funding goal, raising over $29,000 as of early Tuesday.
The campaign has also garnered the support of newly-elected congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Insurance groups are recommending GoFundMe as official policy – where customers can die if they can’t raise the goal in time – but sure, single payer healthcare is unreasonable.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 24, 2018
A spokeswoman with Spectrum health stated privacy laws prevent them from verifying the letter, but the hospital posted a response on their website:
“While it is always upsetting when we cannot provide a transplant, we have an obligation to ensure that transplants are successful and that donor organs will remain viable. We thoughtfully review candidates for heart and lung transplant procedures with care and compassion, and these are often highly complex, difficult decisions. While our primary focus is the medical needs of the patient, the fact is that transplants require lifelong care and immunosuppression drugs, and therefore costs are sometimes a regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision making process.”
In response to her story going viral Ms. Martin was able to cancel a pump implantation surgery that may have allowed her to live eight more years, in favor of returning her case to the transplant review board. If approved, a new heart could allow her to live 15-20 more years.
As people continue to express outrage over cases like Ms. Martin’s, the fact is, they are becoming more common. According to a report by Forbes, Americans are raising over $650 million per year to cover the rising cost of healthcare, many of whom do not have health insurance.
At a time when the median American income is $30,533 and healthcare spending per-capita has increased 29 fold in the last 40 years, healthcare costs have outpaced the growth of the economy and have simply become unaffordable for the average person.
As long as Americans continue to allow corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to approve drugs that kill over 100,000 people per year, while denying people the ability to use a plant that admittedly kills cancer cells this trend will continue and US healthcare rankings will continue to plummet.
If you’d like to donate to Hedda’s GoFundMe you can do so here.
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