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This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of BIOLIFE4D. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own. When there is hope… with a 4D Heart.
Just last year, two of my friends watched their children pass away. The thought makes my eyes fill with tears, because as parents, we know that our children should never die before us. It isn’t far. It will never feel normal. The heartache will never end for those parents.
Today, I wanted to share a story that was shared with me by today’s sponsor, BIOLIFE4D. If you have not heard of BIOLIFE4D, they are a company using an innovative technology to produce 3D bioprinting of a human heart, from the patient’s cells, for transplant. They are a company finding a way to save the lives of these young children and adults.
This is a story about a boy named Jack Radandt. Jack was born with a rare condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The condition is a congenital heart defect affecting normal blood flow through the heart.
Jack’s heart reconstruction process began at 10 days old.
His remaining two surgeries were performed before he reached the age of three. After the surgeries, he triumphed and became stronger. Jack dealt with his physical restrictions well and excelled socially & academically. He for the most part was an energetic, active boy participating in karate, zip-lining and snorkeling while on his Make-a-Wish vacation to Hawaii. He loved baseball.
Unfortunately, at the age of 11 Jack and his family were faced with another bump in the road when they learned his heart was failing and that he needed a heart transplant. Jack was then committed to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
After two months of trying different medications & therapies, the physicians caring for Jack decided to place a Heartware Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD) in him. The HVAD is a mechanical pump implanted in the heart to help blood flow in people with weakened hearts. This device was necessary to bridge the time until a donor heart was available. Jack was the first single ventricle child in the U.S. to have a HVAD placed.
Jack was able to go home with the HVAD, another milestone first. He thrived at home, gaining weight and growing taller, and was eventually able to go back to school. Three months after being discharged they received the much-awaited call that there was a heart for Jack, and it was a perfect match! He received the heart transplant and went home 11 days later. Eventually, Jack joined the basketball team, something he was unable to do before.
At the age of 16 Jack is a strong, charming, intelligent, and convincing young man who is a proud advocate for investing the time and money into new medical technology which will better the lives of those like himself.
Unfortunately, not all heart disease stories have this same happy outcome, and therein lies the need for BIOLIFE4D’s innovative technology resulting in 3D bioprinting of a human heart for transplant.
Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths, far more than all the cancers combined. We all know someone whose lives has been changed by heart disease. In fact, ⅓ of all women and ¼ of all men will die from heart disease. There are only 5,000 heart transplants a year, while over 600,000 are waiting and hoping for a new heart. BIOLIFE4D has been working to find a way to change to statistics, and I think they have. This isn’t science fiction anymore but science fact: Bioprinted organs are becoming a reality.:
I always want to encourage our children to think of others, to look past themselves and realize that they can help someone, even just by lifting someone’s spirits.
We recently made a card and sent it to a friend at our local hospital:
I wanted to help you to do the same. Feel free to save & print this blank card (below) and encourage your children to send it to someone that is sick, or to send it to the address below:
Texas Children’s Hospital
Attn: Volunteer Services 6621 Fannin
SPREAD THE LOVE… tag some friends to encourage them to do the same. Let’s pass on our “heart-filled” good wishes to those in need of our encouragement.
Everything that we do matters in some way. We have the ability to change a life, whether it be with a simple card or participating in Biolife4d”s equity crowdfunding campaign; You can support Biolife4d by investing in stock and be part of this remarkable new process.
I’d love to really encourage you to make a card and send it along… then share it for us to see! Use the hashtag #BL4DActsofHeart and create awareness to raise the necessary funds to support this research. This is important research that allows heart-patients more time with family and friends. It allows kids like Jack to have more time to live the life that he was meant to live. Let’s work together to follow & share #BL4DActsofHeart and see how we are changing the world through our acts of kindness together!
I’m challenging my family & friends to give a piece of their “heart” during February’s upcoming heart month! I’d love to encourage you to do the same! Follow @BIOLIFE4D and let’s see how far the pieces of our hearts can go… when we put them together!