Jamie Kruse Leishman is a 41 year old wife to Christian and mother to 3 children Caleb, Liam and Avyanna. The twins Liam and Avyanna were born on October 29th at 34.3 weeks. They spent 16 days in the NICU and were released on November 13th. Jamie had been in the labor and delivery unit and was moved over to the cardiac unit while the babies were in the NICU. She also spent 16 days in the hospital as a patient due to a condition she had obtained during the 3rd trimester named Peripartum Cardiomyopathy and all were released together on November 13th.
Jamie went home with a PICC line in place, on 24 hour IV medications as well as multiple others, Home Health Nurses in the home every couple of days as well as teaching her husband Chris how to change the medications, she had fluid restrictions, sodium restrictions and very little energy to go throughout the day. Within days Jamie was admitted back in to the hospital on November 16th. Ultimately, she had developed high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia during the 3rd trimester and unfortunately also developed the rare heart condition named above, Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, which was not expected. This developed after delivery/the pregnancy. Basically Jamie has heart failure where her heart is very very weak with an ejection fraction at about 10% whereas most operate at 55% and her Doctors had been working through strategies to build her heart function up. The hope was that this could be done with medication and it would not be necessary to do any procedures.
Over the last 3 months she been in and out of the hospital 4 times for lengthy stays due to the condition. Constant medication adjustment has taken place over that time and unfortunately after visits with specialists at UNMC it was determined that medication alone will not build Jamie's heart up enough to sustain a life and she will require a heart transplant. This is necessary to get better and have a quality of life that will allow her to return home to some normalcy as well as allow her to continue to be a Loving wife to Christian and nurturing mother to Liam and Avyanna that she has been blessed to be to Caleb.
Over the last 3 months she has been constantly hooked up to IV medications and has continuous monitoring of her heart through a Life Vest that she must wear 24 hours a day as well. She is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted due to her current medical situation. She is unable to complete normal day to day activities which also include caring for her 3 children, driving, and is unable to work for an indefinite amount of time. Jamie is Blessed with an amazing support system and has had various family members staying with the family around the clock since October 29th to ensure the family has the care they need. Jamie is ready and longing to be a mother and wife again, at 41 she has a lot of life left and Love to share.
On January 28th Jamie will begin the evaluation process at UNMC with an indefinite stay at the hospital, potentially anywhere from 1-3 months, for an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) and Heart Transplant. “The left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is a mechanical pump that is implanted inside a person's chest to help a weakened heart ventricle pump blood throughout the body. Unlike a total artificial heart, the LVAD doesn't replace the heart. It just helps it do its job. This can mean the difference between life and death for a person whose heart needs a rest after open-heart surgery, or for some patients waiting for a heart transplant (called "bridge to transplant"). Like the heart, the LVAD is a pump. The LVAD is surgically implanted just below the heart. One end is attached to the left ventricle -- that's the chamber of the heart that pumps blood out of the lungs and into the body. The other end is attached to the aorta, the body's main artery. Blood flows from the ventricles into the pump which passively fills up. When the sensors indicate it is full, the blood is ejected out of the device to the aorta. A tube passes from the device through the skin. This tube, called the driveline, connects the pump to the external controller and power source. The pump and its connections are implanted during open-heart surgery. A computer controller, a power pack, and a reserve power pack remain outside the body. Some models let a person wear these external units on a belt or harness outside.”
Currently the plan is that she will receive the LVAD relatively soon and this will bide her some time while she waits on the transplant list. The family resides in Lincoln and Jamie will have to stay in Omaha so please pray for safe travels while they visit Jamie in the hospital as well as peace of mind for the family as they are separated from Jamie during this crucial period of time.
Jamie, Chris and her support system are so extremely grateful and touched by the prayers and support that has been shown during this journey thus far and we ask that you please continue those prayers as they are very much so appreciated during this difficult journey.
As new happenings arise we will update this page as a central place to share the events taking place, this will allow Jamie and the family to focus on what lies ahead, preparing, resting, recovery and being as normal a family as possible. So please look here for updates and understand that Jamie may not respond to personal messages as she is doing her best to get through each day and that is exhausting to her, it's not that she doesn't want to respond to everyone individually it simply is that she physically is too exhausted to do so.
We will post ways the family could use some assistance as things move forward so please watch for that if you're interested in ways to help the Leishman family on this journey.
A Go Fund Me page for Jamie and her family will be posted in the near future.