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50-Year-Old Husband and Dad Fighting for Life Needs a New Heart

Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator / 800.642.8399

Release: Immediate


Nonprofit Fundraising Campaign Will Bring Help and Hope to Nelson and Family

Little Neck, N.Y.—Decades ago, Nelson Garcia of Little Neck came to the U.S. from El Salvador in search of a better life. Today, at just 50 years old, Nelson is fighting to protect that life and be there for his wife and young daughters as he awaits a heart transplant in the hospital. To help support Nelson’s journey to the gift of new life, friends and neighbors have partnered with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live to start a fundraising campaign.

Nelson emigrated from El Salvador by himself in 1997 searching for greater opportunities. He became the sole provider of his household as his wife Glenda Lissette Hernandez Garcia supported daughter Yasmin Garcia, 27, and seven-month-old, Valerie, from home. After experiencing shortness of breath for several months, in May 2020, Nelson was suddenly diagnosed with a rare inflammatory heart condition called cardiac sarcoidosis. He started medication and ongoing monitoring to manage the condition.

In June 2022, Nelson felt unwell while driving and pulled over to the side of the road. He lost consciousness and woke up in the ER. He experienced several heart defibrillations and immediately joined the waiting list for a heart transplant. Due to the precarious nature of his heart health, Nelson will not be able to leave North Shore University Hospital, which is a part of Northwell Health System, until he receives a life-saving heart transplant.

The gift of new life comes at a cost. Even with insurance, Nelson and his family are facing out-of-pocket expenses they cannot cover alone, including co-pays, ongoing medical care, medical travel, and medications. When Nelson receives a heart transplant match, he will remain hospitalized for two weeks after the transplant and spend six to 12 months receiving regular follow-up care. He will be unable to work during that time for his own safety.

To ensure finances don’t stand in the way of the gift of life, Nelson’s loved ones have partnered with the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live to start a fundraising campaign. Donations can be made at:

“Never did Nelson think he would find himself needing a heart transplant at the age of 50,” explained Nelson’s wife, Glenda. “We hope you will consider touching Nelson’s life to help ease the financial burden he is facing. This will allow him to focus on a health recovery and a long life ahead with his beautiful daughter and family, whom he adores.”

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live in Nelson’s honor are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $165 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin