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.
All of our wonderful friends and family, we are so excited to tell you that we have finally arrived home. With the help of many incredible caregivers, and complex coordination that didn't seem possible, Anna was able to return home and sleep in her own bed on Wednesday night for the first time in 9 months! Her situation remains very complex and she is getting settled into home while still having a trach and using vent support. Currently our days are filled with being educated on how to best continue Anna's care and provide her with the support that she needs. In all of this we are so filled with gratitude that we are home! We cannot express enough how thankful we are for all of the family and friends that have carried us every step of the way with love, support and prayers! As we are adjusting to our new life and schedule we ask that prayers continue for Anna and her healing.