March 29, 2018 started as a typical work day for Liza, our dear sister and friend. Unfortunately by day's end, she'd be left fighting for her life. At the tender age of 32, Liza suddenly went into cardiac arrest. In the moments following, chest compressions we’re oerformed and first responders acted quickly, shocking her heart to resuscitate her.
Liza was transported to the local hospital where lifesaving measures were made to give her the best chance at survival. This involved placing her on a ventilator, heavily sedating her and attempting to cool her body to lessen damage and stress on her organs. Unexpectedly, Liza's body began to reject the cooling treatment, and we were told she needed to be flown immediately to a larger city in order to survive. As we waited, desperate for her to be airlifted, her body was becoming more and more unstable.
By Friday afternoon, the doctors ordered her to be transferred to another local hospital that specialized in cardiac conditions. Within a few hours, she was successfully transferred by ambulance and immediately placed on an ECMO machine which serves as her artificial heart. Thankfully, this procedure went smoothly and Liza began to stabilize. At the time, her stability was one of our biggest prayer requests because it meant she had the ability to be transferred to the larger cities and therefore larger hospitals.
Due to inclement weather and other obstacles, numerous flights were cancelled, and by Saturday afternoon, we were told that Liza would be transported to Florida Hospital Transplant Institute. During the delay, family members were able to witness Liza opening her eyes and showing some awareness for the first time since her medical event on Thursday. She was able to follow some basic commands and show some level of understanding! This was a huge milestone as we had no idea how long she may have been without oxygen and if other organs had been significantly affected. Praise the Lord for these signs of hope!
On the morning of Easter Sunday, our dear Liza was finally transferred out of Naples via ambulance to Orlando. (This will be a huge understatement, but it was an overwhelming experience for our family to spot an ambulance with the words "Florida Hospital" on the side while on our way to church!) God is so good and faithful and answered many prayers! Collectively, we cried and hugged as the realization set in that this time, Liza would actually be transported.
As of this writing, Liza is making phenomenal progress! Her preliminary heart testing shows no blockages but some damage to the left side of her heart. She is being weaned off of the ventilator and being prepped for removal from the ECMO machine. She will then be placed on an Impella heart pump. Please pray for her heart to make a full and complete recovery. If this does not happen, there is potential for Liza to end up needing a transplant.
As you can imagine, this has blindsided all of us. We have a deep desire to help ease the pain and suffering in any way possible. Many of you have voiced a desire to help as well. At this time, Liza and her husband, Kevin, are focused on traveling this road to recovery. There is a long road ahead of them. Neither are bringing in any income and there is great expense ranging from lost wages, travel expenses and meals not to mention the mounting medical bills. They are humble and gracious and would NEVER ask for financial support, but so many of us are able to give and want to help in a place where we otherwise feel very helpless.
If you'd like to give directly to the family with no delay, you can mail a check to our church at the following address:
Oak River Church
26911 South Bay Dr.
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Please make your check payable to Oak River Church and reference Liza's Recovery Fund in the memo line.
We ask for your continued prayer as Liza begins this life changing journey.
I will leave you with the parting words from Liza's favorite Bible verse.
Isaiah 43:1 "I have called you by name. You are mine."
She is our MIRACLE!
May God's healing hand be upon Liza until we can update you again.