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Survivor Story: Kathy Schafer

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Written & Contributed
by Kathy Schafer


I am 57 years old and in need of a heart transplant to save my life! 


It all began in 2016 when I had a Heart Cath and was told I needed emergency heart surgery.  Having bypass surgery never caused me any fear as I had watched members of my family recover from such surgery, but mine went horribly wrong! 


Four grafts were put in and three collapsed that night.  Then I had a heart attack! 


What I am left with is more or less half a heart.  The left side of my heart is so damaged it barely functions.  For more than a year my blood pressure ran in the 70's over 40's. 


I could barely get out of bed. 


My life was no longer what it had been.  Most of my days before had been spent outdoors tending to my beloved flower gardens and spending time with friends and family. 


As my life is now I am homebound most of the time.  My flowers grew up into weeds, and all I could do was watch, and that's when I could get out of bed!


I live in Illinois where the summers get hot and humid.  The heat keeps me indoors.  I had to arrange rides to see my heart specialist with friends because our old truck has no air conditioning, and I simply can't go without it. 


Now the central air in our house has stopped running, and I may have to go live somewhere else until it is replaced.  


I am being set up for another major surgery to have an LVAD put in to keep me alive until a heart becomes available.  I will not be able to come home without air conditioning! 


My wish is to be able to recover here at home but that may not be possible without your help.  We are under a mountain of debt, and we know it is only going to get worse. 


My husband and I are both disabled, and my Husband had to have his leg amputated just last year. 


Yes, we have suffered incredible bad luck but we haven't given up, and we won't.  Right now we are just in need of your help. 


We need this air conditioning fixed as soon as possible, we need a vehicle that has air and can make the 1 and 1/2 hour trips to my Heart Specialist and help with all these bills. 


Your help will make all these things possible, and I will be able to come home to recover.  We will be able to take our own car to the many, many Doctor visits and put some money towards some of our debt. 


Bless you from the bottom of my heart for your help even if you can only share this request for help!




More than 50% of the proceeds from all Fight the Fight purchases made during the month of August 2018 will be donated to Kathy to help pay for medical-related expenses.



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  • Just a quick update. After a 14 he. Nose bleed I was once again sent back to Barnes Hospital where the bleeding stopped but a massive infection was found. I was admitted on 9/8 once again. I have had 2 surgeries with at the least 2 more to go. Thank you to all for your prayers and for supporting Fight the Fight.

    Kathy Schafer on
  • Kathy asked me to update y’all. She was trying to and keeps falling asleep this am. She is my BFF.
    Jen Rowlen asked about her AC. It has been fixed.

    Kathy just came home last week from being in Barnes almost a month. Kathy’s defibrillator shocked her 7 times prior to being sent via ambulance to Barnes. They had to do the LVAD surgery emergency because her heart was failing. Kathy’s heart was only working at 20%. Since having the LVAD she no longer has a pulse. She has to live on batteries or plugged into wall. If there is no power source for the LVAD to work she will die. The next step for Kathy is she needs the heart transplant.
    Thoughts and Prayers to my BFF Kathy.

    Aimee Dilks on
  • Has Kathy’s air been fixed yet?

    Jen Rowlen on

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