Aside from the brain, the heart is perhaps the most important organ in the body. Therefore, when you’re diagnosed with a serious heart condition, it can feel like a death sentence. This is more common than you might think, with roughly 6 million people suffering from heart failure in North America. While some heart conditions are purely genetic, many of us don’t care for our hearts the way that we should. Even if you do take on a no salt diet plan and begin regularly exercising later in life, sometimes the damage may already be done.
But even then, there is hope. Where decades ago a heart transplant seemed like a revolutionary and even impossible surgery, in this day and age it’s remarkably common. If you’ve started to experience the warning signs of heart failure, it’s understandable if you initially are scared and feel like you don’t have any options. That’s why we’re exploring some of the programs to help heart failure patients. These can assist with getting your life back on track after this major change. You can do it!
1. American Transplant Foundation
A transplant is a major surgery, and it can be difficult to navigate resources in terms of funding not only your surgery but your care post-op. But your surgery does need to happen, and you aren’t alone. The American Transplant Foundation was founded to help people facilitate their surgeries. Specifically, the American Transplant Foundation offers financial assistance to help people keep up with their insurance premium costs and catch up with delinquent premiums to ensure that they don’t lose insurance coverage. This is crucial, as you’ll need to be on anti-rejection medications permanently following a heart transplant. They can also guide patients through insurance transitions, co-pays during insurance gaps, and much more.
2. American Heart Association
It can be incredibly difficult to find people who understand the trauma of going through a heart transplant, or for that matter, the trauma of helping someone you love go through this surgery. There are a lot of major life adjustments that you need to make following a heart transplant. You’ll need to stick to a no salt diet plan, change the way you exercise, and take the aforementioned anti-rejection medications for the rest of your life. Fortunately, the American Heart Association offers a great online support group specifically made for heart transplant recipients and their caregivers. People in the support group can offer each other not only emotional support but advice and resources based on personal experience. This can make a big difference in the lives of transplant recipients and the people who love them.
3. First Hand Foundation
Heart transplants aren’t just given to adults who need to transition to no salt diet plans in order to treat their health issues. Children can be born needing heart transplants due to genetic conditions. This is especially frightening to parents and can be quite devastating to them. Not only do they need to care for their sick kids, sometimes full-time; they also need to fund their care up to and after their heart transplants. First Hand Foundation is there to help aid the financial hardships you may be going through. This foundation can help fund surgery, medication, medical equipment, and therapy, as well as travel related to care. If you’re the parent of a heart transplant recipient or a future recipient, don’t hesitate to reach out.
4. HeartBrothers Foundation
Founded by people who have experienced heart failure, the HeartBrothers Foundation is meant to help others in similar situations. The foundation fundraises in order to help people cover the associated costs that come with medical care like transplants. They help fund lodging, transportation, and meals; these necessities often fall between the cracks when transplant recipients begin attempting to pay for care. They also offer medical insurance assistant, peer to peer counseling, and stress-coping resources.
Adjusting to the realities that come with transplants, from the costs to no salt diet plans, can be difficult. But there are resources available; don’t forget it, and don’t feel like you have to face this alone.