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Rick is my wonderful husband of 15 years. He is also a great grandfather to 18 grandchildren. Rick has had heart problems since he was 26-years-old and has had multiple surgeries. In 1998 he had a mechanical heart valve implanted and is currently on his second pacemaker. His health has continued to deteriorate and in 2011 he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure – a condition no amount of medications could correct. Rick is now in need of a heart transplant – his only option for survival.

Rick had to stop working two years ago as he could no longer walk to the mailbox without being out of breath. He is 61-years-old and loves woodworking, camping, fishing and especially spending time with his grandchildren. Rick was on oxygen which helped him for a time and finally his cardiologist sent him to Salt Lake City, UT for evaluations last April. Rick was immediately admitted and the doctors told us Rick would need to undergo surgery to receive a mechanical heart or LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device). I lived in a 22′ camp trailer behind the hospital for 2 1/2 months. We assumed that he would have the LVAD for as long as he lived. However, he had serious complications — hence his need for a transplant.

Updates (29)

March 28, 2017

We just got back from SLC. Ricks heart is doing great but he is still having some kidney problems. We hope with the reduced medication and see a kidney doctor that this will improve.
Our biggest hurdle right now is his upcoming dental surgery. It will cost about $10,000. The insurance will not cover it. We have collected $1,593.00 so far. All of the money we collected before this current year was used when we were living is SLC for the heart transplant. Living expenses and medical bills were very expensive. If you can see any way that you could help with this new expense, we would sure appreciate it.

While we were in SLC we got to meet and eat a meal with Ricks donor family. They are a wonderful family. We are so blessed that they have welcomed us into their family as they have.

February 15, 2017

Here Rick is speaking at the Yes Idaho donor presentation. He is doing great. He is 1 year and 4 months out from his heart transplant. We met his donor family in December and they were awesome. Just a great family.
I think you always think that after your heart transplant you can go back to normal. Whatever that is? The medication he is taking is very hard on his body. One of the places that he is having problems is his teeth. He needs to have all the the bottom ones pulled. That is going to cost between $5,000 and $6,000. We don’t have this money. We have spent everything we have and have sold everything we can. I thought that I would be able to go back to work but it has not worked out that way. I am 61 years old and my husband has had to be in Salt Lake City every month except two in 2016. We are again asking for any help that you can give us to come up with this money. I am not a person that likes to ask but I am out of resources. Your donation would be tax deductible through HelpHopeLive. So if you need a tax deduction for 2017, we would appreciate any help you could give us. Again, thank you so much if you have helped us previously and I wish we could do this on our own but it just is not possible. Please prayerfully consider a gift of any amount to help us raise this money so we continue this fight to keep Rick well and alive for many years to come. Thank you again so much.


February 27, 2017

Wishing you well, Friends in Christian love, Leroy & Nancy Jones

Leroy & Nancy Jones

October 2, 2015

What great news for you both! Susie, I had been praying especially hard since I talked to you. Rick will continue to be in my prayers as he adjusts to his new heart and his new heart adjusts to him!

Maryann Hogg

June 8, 2015

Hi Rick and Susie! I just want to thank you for all of the support you've given to my brother (Brandon Schmidt) and my family. I remember the day we got the news that Brandon needed an LVAD and the LVAD team member showing us the device and just having that awful sinking feeling that Brandon wouldn't have a normal life. Then Rick came in that afternoon looking healthy and telling us he gets exercise and has a fairly normal life with an LVAD. I remember feeling relief, and that everything would be okay for Brandon (or at least a good chance that it would). So thanks again for all you do for the heart patients and their families at the University of Utah Cardiovascular Center.

Tiffany Schmidt

April 27, 2015

Re: Apr 23rd - We give thanks to our God for His amazing grace and provision as you two walk through this journey in Him - So glad Heart to Heart is there for you - extending the love of Christ - much love and prayers - Laura and Michael

Laura and Michael Lyons