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Novato Mom of Three Gets a New Heart, Needs Help Covering Cost

Emily Progin, Content Manager / 800.642.8399


Manoela Vieira Had a 5-Year Life Expectancy Before This Gift of New Life

NOVATO, Calif.—On October 14, 45-year-old Manoela Vieira of Novato and her husband, Jorge, were at Costco when they received the phone call that would change Manoela’s life. A donor heart had become available, offering Manoela the chance to regain hope and health for herself and her family.

Manoela was a successful global marketing manager and active mom of three when she experienced cardiac arrest out of the blue in 2019, leaving her in an induced coma for 17 days. In September 2021, she joined the waiting list for a heart transplant. She had just a five-year life expectancy without it.

After four years of fighting for life, Manoela felt the full weight of this Costco call: “The moment was surreal. I was filled with a mixture of hope and apprehension.”

Her devoted husband Jorge as well as her mother Nelise, her brother Jose, and her three daughters mirrored her emotions: “They were overjoyed but understandably anxious. They knew the risks and the promise this opportunity held.” Manoela says her family has “been my rock throughout this journey.”

The heart transplant was a success, and Manoela says, “October 14, 2023 is now etched in my memory as the day I received a second chance at life.” The procedure took place at UCSF with Dr. Amy Fiedler, overlapping with the “ring of fire” solar eclipse.

Manoela was inpatient for just 10 days before she was able to return home—and the difference in her quality of life was noticeable immediately. “The changes were remarkable. I felt a new surge of energy and breathing became easier. It was like a brand-new start.”

She and her community will now take on the slow process of recovery, including weekly labs, a heart biopsy every week for six weeks, and monthly checkups for six months. Manoela will also undertake a strict at-home care regimen.

Many of the costs associated with her transplant and ongoing recovery are not fully covered by insurance, including co-pays for surgery, anti-rejection medications, supplies for a special diet to maintain health and nutrition, and insurance premiums.

These are financial burdens Manoela and her family cannot cover alone. That’s why they turned to the trusted national nonprofit Help Hope Live for medical fundraising.

Donations can be made at:

“Fundraising has been a lifeline,” explained Manoela. “It has helped cover medication costs and hospital bills, and it has eased the financial stress, allowing me to focus on recovery and my family.” She expressed her gratitude and her hope for a brighter future with the help of her community:

“I am beyond grateful. The emotional and financial aid has been a source of immense comfort and has reduced my stress. Thanks to this gift of life, I hope to return to my passions—writing, coaching, and capoeira. More than anything, I want to continue being there for my family, especially my daughters, as they grow and chase their own dreams.”

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live 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 $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin