We are overjoyed to share that Team Amy S has now raised over $30,000 for COTA in honor of the truly wonderful Amy. Since we got together this past Spring, it has been a tough road filled with tears, scary discussions with medical staff, late or sleepless nights, hours upon hours of pleading for donations from businesses and prep work for events, and so much auction basket assembly that many of us still have nightmares about cellophane.
Even with these great successes, we still need your help. Our goal is still to raise $65,000 dollars. COTA helps with ALL transplant-related expenses, of which there are MANY. Amy has been out of work since May, as has her sister Sarah. There are countless necessary expenses to keep Amy healthy and to keep her body from rejecting her lungs.
The amount of stress it took to put these fundraising events together was nothing in comparison to waiting for weeks before the call finally came that MGH had found lungs for Amy. It seemed like every time we had hope that Amy was stable, another complication would arise. She had so many machines and tubes hooked up to her that it was a shock to see her each time you walked into the room. For such a fierce and independent woman to be in such a fragile state that the staff couldn't move her without her heart temporarily stopping was terrifying. The doctors kept telling her family to expect the worst, so it was an unbelievable relief when they finally got the call that they had found a match for Amy. The surgery was difficult because her lungs were so inflamed and infected, but the MGH staff got her through it. And the love all of you reading this showed during that time got her friends and family through the wait for the new lungs.
At first, possible brain damage was still a concern due to problems with Amy's circulation while she was on the life support machine, and blood loss during the surgery. After they started tapering off the sedatives, and we got to see those first sassy eye rolls (because nobody could understand what she was trying to communicate) it was clear she was still all there. Because Amy was in such a bad state before the surgery, her recovery has been, and continues to be, very difficult. She was down to about 100 lbs at one point and has to work on building up her muscle mass, one of the immunosupressants caused swelling in her brain that lead to 3 seizures, she had unrelenting nausea for about a week,got pneumonia, and one of her lungs collapsed as a result of a procedure to see inside of her lungs.
Amy is getting stronger every day, and we are all so thankful for the hard work of her medical staff, the assistance from COTA, and the outpouring of love from the community. Your kindness and generosity means more to us than you could ever know, and we hope to see you all at some of our upcoming events (with Amy as our guest of honor in the not too distant future).