I Give Because...... Vanessa Zaczek

Hi, I am Vanessa, and I met Kathy Mullen, Founder of Mullen's Miracles, at a co-working space, Phase, in Alpharetta, GA. We connected on stories as my mother is a Heart Transplant recipient. I am sharing our story through Mullen's Miracles on my mom's "heart" anniversary.

Six years ago, my family's life changed forever. Our mom was put on the transplant list for a new heart. After years of experiencing heart problems and multiple surgeries, our mom was diagnosed with end-stage heart failure requiring an LVAD heart pump. It was quickly determined that her body was rejecting the LVAD heart pump, and the last hope was a heart transplant. Our world immediately turned upside down.

Statistics show that the average wait time for a donor is 144 days, with about 3,000 people on the heart transplantation waitlist alone and close to 106,000 people on the national transplant waiting list, with a new person added on average every 10 minutes.

We knew that the chances of our mom finding a new heart were not guaranteed. But, at the same time, we also knew that we were praying to find a heart for our mom; that would mean the ultimate sacrifice for another family and the devastating loss of someone they loved.

When the day arrived for the transplant, and we received the call that a donor was found, conflicting emotions took over. A battle between excitement and happiness, to the extreme sadness and grief for the donor's family made this process overwhelming.

Six years later, our mom is celebrating her "heart" anniversary. Every year I would struggle to find a meaningful way to honor her donor, their family, that is worthy of this precious gift until I had the opportunity to meet Kathy, share our stories, and learn more about Mullen's Miracles.

Now every year, we celebrate by donating to Mullen's Miracles in honor of mom's donor and the miracle our family received.

Kathy Mullen

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