Anna’s Story

Site created on August 14, 2018

On July 29th, Anna Jeter and her mother, Laurie, moved from their home in Minnesota to Palo Alto, California, so that Anna could be listed for a lifesaving heart-lung transplant. This is the only option left to Anna, after 19 years of living with Pulmonary Hypertension (PH). PH is a progressive and terminal illness that impacts both the lungs and the heart, growing more severe with time. Despite a daunting prognosis at the age of four, Anna has lived 19 years with this illness, and although her health has instilled many limits upon her life, Anna’s days have been filled with faith, wonder, and community. After finishing high school, Anna’s illness continued to progress. As a result, she was not certain she would be able to attend college. As yet another testament of her strength and her will, Anna persisted forward. After four years of hard work, she graduated in May of 2017 with a nursing degree from Bethel University, despite consistent setbacks with her health.  

After finishing college last year, Anna’s doctors made it clear to her that transplant could not be put off any longer. In the face of transplant, Anna has been unable to begin pursuing a career as a nurse. During this time, Anna has instead chosen to push towards her calling as an artist and a writer. Every day she reaches many people through her poetry and her artwork.

After a full year spent developing a plan of care with her transplant team, Anna and her family have decided that her best chance for organs is at Stanford Medical center, in California. Now that Anna is listed at Stanford, it is unknown how long she will have to wait for the right match.

Unfortunately, transplant is not a cure-all for Anna’s condition. While she will no longer be living with PH, she will be a transplant patient for the rest of her life. This will bring forth a whole new set of risks and concerns. With that said, Anna’s new organs will allow her to live life in a new way. Her physical endurance will hopefully be improved, so that Anna will be able to travel, hike, and exercise in ways that have never been an option to her in the past 19 years. Ultimately, Anna and her family are optimistic about the second chance at life that a heart-lung transplant could provide.

Despite fears and doubts, Anna’s faith in God throughout this process is unwavering, and she is fortified to know that He is walking with her always. In every day of life, she gives glory to her Lord. If you are not able to contribute financially, please know that prayer is just as precious to Anna and her family in this season. Please lift her name up, and please share her story so that she can continue to be an outlet of light and hope for others. You can also support Anna by purchasing her artwork, which can be found on her website (www.annalisabeth.co) or at GOLDEN RULE in Excelsior, MN.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Laurie Jeter

My loved ones and I hold two days close as far as my transplant anniversary goes - the 21st, when I received the call and sat in anticipation of my procedure, and the 22nd when, early in the morning, my surgery began. The latter, especially for my immediate family, is certainly the day that holds more trauma, more significance, more change. It wasn’t until months later when we learned that my transplant procedure was one of Stanford’s most difficult ever. At the time, it was a bold reminder of the trajectory we were on, with so many setbacks still to come. The resilience that this year has called for continues to overwhelm me. But on the other side, is the view of humanity that I have been granted. The community surrounding me through these tough and trialed days comprises of a sphere that is so far outside of my own understanding. The number of loved ones and strangers that have come by my side in these times appears infinite. It is the single most humbling experience. To each one that has walked with me - Thank you for the company. Thank you for the kindness. Of course, it all comes back to the choice and gift made by my donor and donor family, something that cannot be repaid. Due to them, I am alive another year. As my sister so truly stated, ‘Organ donation is an incredible gift. (We) urge you to consider it.’ Today, I am sitting on my dock with some family and my pup, breathing fresh air. And oh, it is such a delight, such a direct contrast from the circumstances that were just beginning to unfold one year ago. The skies spell it out so clearly- Hope is never in vain.

 

My gratitude for each and every soul who has donated time, prayers, and funds is unending. Every ounce of it has helped to deliver me to this day.  Love Anna

 
 
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