GOOD NEWS UPDATE — My sister received her heart transplant on March 4th. We will keep you posted on her progress through the UPDATE section on this campaign page.
I am writing this letter on behalf of my sister, Leslie Sorg. As many of you already know, Leslie is currently awaiting a heart transplant at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where she will remain until she receives her gift of life. Leslie has had a long road the last few years between a failed bypass and multiple cardiac stents. In spite of these procedures, her only hope for survival now is a heart transplant.
Leslie is a tough, hardworking woman who even with health insurance will have many uninsured transplant-related expenses such as: co-pays and deductibles, continuing doctor visits and the costly immunosuppressant medication (which could be up to $1800/month) that she will need to take for the rest of her life to make sure her new ‘ticker’ functions properly.
To ease this financial burden, a fundraising campaign in Leslie’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for more than 30 years. All donations are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Mid-Atlantic Heart Transplant Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for transplant-related expenses only. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Leslie and her family feel very blessed to have so many caring, supportive people in their lives. We appreciate your prayers and generosity as we work toward the future.
November 20, 2014
It has been 8months since I received the wonderful gift of life, my rockstar heart. Life couldn’t be better. Im back to work and back to the independent person I always was before heart disease sucked the life out of me. I have more energy than I have had in years and i’ve never been happier!. I have gotten this far, only because of the wonderful donor family who blessed me with this heart, and the incredible care I received from Thomas Jefferson Hospital, and the support of all my family and friends. Ive been able to keep this rockstar heart happy and healthy b/c of everyone’s generosity and kindness. There are not enough words to thank everyone enough!!
April 16, 2014
44 days with my beautiful new heart and again negative rejection from yesterday’s heart biopsy!!! This heart is a rock star!!! Except for the GI distress which I have had and is getting worse everyday, and the shakes, everything is great!! Starting in the am I’ll b having med changes and hopefully that will resolve the med side effects and my steroid dose is decreasing also. I’m feeling almost completely like myself again, Minus the chest pain and profound tiredness! The new and improved me! Starting heart biopsy’s every other wk x 6 wks. Sweet!! Starting cardiac rehab 3x wk x6 wks, can’t wait!! I feel so happy, but everyday I think of my donor and his family. I hope and pray that their pain is bearable. Please continue to pray for them. I’m sure they will need it for a long time to come. Give me a call and we should try to get together bc I’m ready to get out and about and I miss everyone!!! Hope everyone is doing great!! Xoxo
April 4, 2014
First walk in months with the furry kids!!! We all loved it!! Great day. I went to target and post office also. Feels so good to be out and about!! Stomach bug 75% resolved. I’m wondering if my stomach is just in shock from all the good food I’m eating?? It’s going to take a while for it to get used to no pizza or ice cream! Sorry stomach, new hearts the boss now!! Took the best nap! I’m pacing but this isn’t my first surgical rodeo and you do have to push a little to overcome the general weakness. So maybe Tomorrow, I’ll walk just a little further and everyday a little more and before u know it I’ll be doing a 5k, then half marathon and maybe someday a marathon!!! Loving every minute with this new heart, not 1 second of cp in 34 days!! Life is wonderful!! I hope everyone else is having a great day!! Spring has finally sprung, yeah!!!! Xoxo
March 30, 2014
I received a call 4 wks ago today. We have a heart!!! I knew at that moment my life and my children’s lives were about to change forever. I hoped that without ever being anything, but positive I had prepared my children to be able to deal with this, if this was going to be their moment of change. I’m very happy to say, it ended up being my moment. One of the best moments of my life! I was given a beautiful new heart and a new chance to continue my life with all the energy and excitement I had always had till the heart disease like a thief in the night stole it from me! I had to give my medical history to a resident and after she heard about the craniotomy, the 28 stents, bypass, bypass that failed and my last massive heart attack, she said, if you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck. I actually was offended by that statement! I said what??? Are you crazy, who lives thru all of that and looks and acts like me? I’m the luckiest person I know!!! Now I feel like I hit the trillion dollar lottery!! The new heart isn’t just a pump that keeps my body going. It gave me so much more!! A sense of peace and excitement, I’ve never known. Some people will go thru an entire life and never know what’s really important. It’s a great thing to wake up now knowing that life is so much more then houses, cars, and vacations. Yes, we all enjoy these things but, I know living in a big beautiful home and waking up worrying about is this the day my heart is going to give out didn’t make me feel better that I may die in a beautiful house. Today, for me just waking up with a future and hope with my kids, family, friends, and furry kids surrounding my days is like waking up in the most beautiful life!!! I know what hope, love, laughter, and peace is and I have all of it!!! I had a road that at times was rocky to get me to this, but it’s all been worth it!!! I’ve been so touched and moved in ways, I can’t describe by so many people, their words of strength and kindness that they were so willing to share with me to help me continue thru this journey. The generosity of people amazed me! I can feel that everyone wants this heart to make it and they weren’t going to let me lose my heart b/c of outrageously expensive Meds. People I love and strangers I didn’t know all pulled together just to help me keep this beautiful heart. No words I have can ever match this kindness!! I can only continue to say thank you, so much!!! It’s so funny, I feel I’ve always been given a gift of patience, with my kids, patients, animals, but never with me. I want so much to be able to just go and be the person I know I’m able to go back to being!! Unfortunately, after short outings I’m so tired. I feel great!!! I just think they maybe correct that it’s going to take about 3 months to feel like the fixed me. I wish I could hurry it up b/c I have so many things I want to do!! Everyday, I feel stronger, I get tired easily but never any chest pain, sob resolving. I have some side effects from Meds, but with 27 Meds a day that’s to be expected and nothing I can’t handle. So, much better then chest pain!!! I’m feeling ready to start seeing everyone, but I’m never sure when the need for a nap is going to hit me and when it hits I can’t keep my eyes open. So, that’s why I hesitated to make plans. I’m itching to get out, but lots of things are restricted the first 3-6 months. I’ve been isolated for months so I’m definitely getting itchy!! I can go out as long as it’s not in a closed in place like a movie theater, I can go to an open restaurant or outdoor cafe. It’s probably just best if I plan things on a day to day basis and people just call before they stop and see me for now and if I’m up to it we can do something or just hang at my house and catch up. Please, don’t take it personal if I say today’s not a good day b/c sometimes I don’t sleep well. I’m excited to start seeing everyone!!! I’m excited I’m here to have a lifetime to enjoy everyone’s company! I hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend! Again, love and gratitude to all!! Xoxo Leslie
March 14, 2014
Hi everybody, yesterday was 10 days since I received my new heart! Daily improvement, limited pain, no narcotics for days, increased movement. Really learning to pace, and adjust to my steroid Buddha belly and face! Going to start allowing people to rub n make a wish, lol. I’m a very happy, alive Buddha who has spent the past few days realizing I’m not worried about stent blockage, failed bypass, chest pain, awakening in the middle night with chest pain, eating, running, resting, chest pain. The death ghost that spent everyday never showing his face, quietly consuming my day, awaiting who knew when to take his bounce…GONE!!! I realized I’m not dying!!! Im so alive, hopeful and excited!!! I feel I’m on the best vacation of my entire life. I really can’t believe the nightmare is over!!! I feel so blessed that I’m going to go back to a normal life!!! Life changes you, if your lucky. I won’t be the person I was 105 days ago when this started. I sat, I thought, I processed, I saw love towards me I never knew existed. I felt strength and compassion given to me by family, friends, nurses, docs, strangers. I always used to say you die alone. I no longer believe we die or live alone. It’s a gathering. Funny, I spent years hiding being sick bc all I wanted was to feel normal. I wanted no pity, or feeling sorry for me and that was crazy bc I was dying and it was sad. So, now I want everyone to know I’m the women with a new heart! I want all of you who physically or mentally held my hand and gave me strength, to REJOICE in this beautiful new fresh start! Ty for all the support-from family and friends who knew how challenging this awaiting isolation was and kept my spirits up. To my Marissa and my sister who always seem to keep my hyper ass entertained in some unique way to keep me from getting down. My son who would sit here smiling watching movies he already seen just to entertain me, my youngest dgt who smack in the middle of her new career n finally could relax, stop and just focus on herself, focused on her mom, even though I know she’d rather been at the gym, but never made me feel that way. To my neice who is so hard working her senior yr in college, stops everything to do a shirt sale for me just so I could feel how much she loved me!! To jane, my coworker who saw first hand my struggle while trying to live a normal life, keeping my bad days secret, but one eye open on me while we worked during cranky heart days, who stepped up to the plate, way more as a great friend then coworker trying to elevate the one thing she felt she could do to get me thru this, was to help lift the weight of my heart cost worries, which she has done with such passion, and love towards me!!! A special ty to all the staff at Thomas Jefferson hospital, from environmental, to kitchen, medical who daily tried to respect my million dollar studio appt, aka my hospital room, but at the same time keeping me hopeful and making me laugh. To the heart transplant team who never has allowed me to feel anything but hope and carried me thru this entire process! Honestly, not a bad one in the bunch!!! Great group!!! I could go on and on!!! Tues am, next post will be a pic of me going home!!! Next heart biopsy Monday! I’ve been given the priceless gift of life and peace. I’ll cherish it, pay forward at every turn. I’ll laugh,and smile more. Worry much less. Get crushed with big furry kisses, squished in bed, unable to finish a book, eat a meal with drooling, begging dogs and will be loving it!!! Much love and forever gratitude to all of you. I hope everyone a wonderful, day and fabulous weekend!!! Xoxo
March 4, 2014
GOOD NEWS UPDATE!
The new heart is working like a champ. Leslie is in a lot of pain but her recovery is going as expected!! Thanks for the positive thoughts and prayers!
March 4, 2014
March 2, 2014. Heart day is finally here!!!! I don’t feel like I’m going in there alone but I feel you all pulling n praying for me. I couldn’t have made it thru these 93 days without ur visits, calls, and supportive!! Extra Ty to the greatest family on earth!!! Please pray for the wonderful family who’s grief I’m sure is so heavy today, who gave me this generous gift and has changed my life forever!!! Positive thoughts!!! Xoxo
February 18, 2014
80 days today!!! I never thought I’d be saying that. The things I wished for 80 days ago. Sleep in bed without being squished by dogs, eat without begging dogs, read a book without being interrupted, someone to cook dinner for me every night, someone do my wash, mop my floors for me. The things I want now, to be squished in bed by furry kids, to have big sweet drooling faces begging for my food, to cook my own food of my choice,to only get thru 3 chapters bc I have to many other things to do, to clean my own wash and floors when I want to. The most important thing today I have and I wasn’t sure I had 80 days ago is knowing I’m not alone thru all this, and despite their own problems and concerns have never aloud me to feel alone, always smiling and putting up with my craziness. I have the best family and friends in the entire world, but a special thanks to my Riss and sister who continue to keep my spirits up with wonderful, ingenious heart touching ideas that has kept me from losing my mind or worse leaving and never getting this important second chance!! Please don’t anyone forget about me here, the longer I’m here, the longer my days seem, the more I miss everyone!! Hope everyone is doing well!! Positive thoughts!!! Xoxo
February 7, 2014
70 days here and counting. Every night I fall asleep and I think tonight is the night, their going to wake me and tell me they have a new heart for me, and then I awaken in the am and I’m like —-, I’m still here!!! Then, I’m like yeah, I’m still here !!! Life is good!!! Then, I think today’s the day? Thank you everyone for hanging in there with me!! All the love and support really makes such a difference !!!! I hope everyone has a great day! Xoxo
January 28, 2014
Wow, day 60! Despite all the love and support I have, this is at times very difficult. I miss simple things so much, sleeping in my own bed, walking thru my house, opening my frig and eating and cooking whatever I want. Being squished in bed by my big sweet furry kids. I could go on, but what’s the point. I figure the perfect heart just hasn’t come up yet, but I feel like it will be here soon! I have no idea how anyone can get thru this w/o all the love and support I’ve gotten. If I have moments of feeling down, I think of all the love that’s come my way and I feel strength and happiness. I truly feel very lucky and blessed! I remind myself this is a very tiny part of a new, wonderful life for me and soon my next update will be the hearts here!!!! Please keep in touch, keep praying and positive thoughts. It honestly keeps me going!! Xoxo
January 18, 2014
Today marks 50 days waiting for my new heart. Honestly I thought it would have happened by now and I’m not sure why I did. I do know I would be going out of my mind if it wasn’t for my wonderful, beautiful family who has gone above and beyond for me!!! Love ya tons !! Also for my friends who have kept me company and given me so much support. And to everyone who’s generosity and love has given me so much hope and belief that a better life for me is only a heart beat away! Thank you everyone!!!! Xoxo
January 9, 2014
Jan 08, 2014
40 days I’ve been in the hospital today. I can’t believe I haven’t lost my mind. I remain focused on my goal of getting a new beautiful heart and in positive spirits! I have been able to remain in this state of mind because of all the love and support my family and friends have given me. It has meant more to me then I can ever express. When the time does come and I hope it’s soon that I have my surgery, I will be filled with so much love and positive energy, I have no doubt it will be a wonderful success and a start of a beautiful new life! I promise every chance I get I will pay forward to someone all that has been forward to me and make my donor proud that he/she has shared his heart with me!!! I’ll keep everyone updated. Xoxo!!!! << less << less
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In honor of Leslie Sorg
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