Donate Life Initiative
On January 14, 2022, my husband Steve and I were set to go on our honeymoon to Sandals in Jamaica when his life changed forever. At the age of 40, he suffered a heart attack, despite being a healthy person. He was transported to Albany Medical Center, where doctors put two stents in his heart and told him he was lucky to be alive. Over the next several months, Steve's condition deteriorated. He was hospitalized two more times with pneumonia, and though he was released each time, we were told he was doing great. However, in June of 2022, he was readmitted to Albany Medical Center with fluid buildup in his legs. Doctors did more tests and diagnosed him with advanced heart failure. We were told he would need a heart transplant and he was transferred to Westchester Medical Center.
After two weeks of tests, Steve finally cleared all medical protocols and was put on the donor list. By the grace of God, because of his age, health, and severity of need, he was moved up in priority on the donor list and received a new heart within a week of going on the list. This is an incredible amount of time as most people wait anywhere from 6 months to 5 years to find a match. This transplant saved his life and brought him home to his family with a great prognosis and many more years ahead of him. In just three months, Steve has surpassed normal recovery times and is back to his active self, despite having to take a year off from work.
As Steve can't sit around and has to take a year off from work, he helped me realize my dream of starting this bakery. Together, we wanted to give back to the community and help other people survive in the wake of such a diagnosis. So we reached out and contacted Donate Life NY, a great organization that tries to bring awareness of the need for organ donation, as New York sits near the bottom of the list of states for organ donation.