Lance Mokma Lance Mokma - Transplant

First post: Apr 3, 2021 Latest post: May 20, 2022
Welcome to our CaringBridge website! We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place as we go through this dual organ transplant journey for Lance. Our hope is that through this site we will be able to keep everyone updated with the most recent developments. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting :)

Lance's story: Lance was born with a congenital heart defect in which he only has a single ventricle instead of two ventricles in his heart. Essentially, he was born with half of an anatomical heart. He had surgeries as an infant to help reconstruct his heart to improve blood flow and was able to live a fairly normal life. In college, he developed tachycardias requiring numerous electrical cardioversions. While traveling to Russia for a job in 2014, Lance contracted salmonella and became extremely sick. He was hospitalized and quarantined in Russia for two weeks and when he was finally able to return to Michigan, he was taken to the hospital shortly after due to more fast arrhythmia's. After spending the night for observation, it was discovered that Lance was bradycardic (slow heart rate) while sleeping. It was decided that a pacemaker needed to be placed in order to keep his sinus rhythm at a high enough rate. Unfortunately, ever since then, he has had many fast arrhythmia episodes and a slow decline in heart function in general, causing worsening heart failure. 

In 2019, it was decided by his medical team in Grand Rapids that all of the medical therapies/options had been exhausted and it was time for him to be assessed for a dual organ heart and liver transplant. Lance was born with a healthy liver but unfortunately, his congenital heart defect put a lot of stress and pressure on his liver causing cirrhosis. In order for a transplanted heart to be successful, he needs a healthy liver to support it, thus the addition of the liver transplant with the heart transplant. Currently there are only 3 centers in the country that complete this extremely complex surgery. 

In August of 2019, Lance was referred to Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to start a transplant evaluation. After 19 months with numerous visits and significant testing, he was finally accepted to the heart and liver transplant teams in February 2021. In March, Lance and Sarah packed up and moved to Philadelphia to start the next leg of his transplant journey....

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