A Grand Rapids woman needs a new heart, but the 60-year-old woman was rejected as a transplant candidate. The rejection letter from the Spectrum Health Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Center instructed the ailing woman to start a "fundraising effort," then apply again for a heart transplant.
Hedda Martin posted the rejection letter She received the Grand Rapids clinic from Facebook and it's since gone viral.
"The decision made by the committee is that you do not have a heart transplant due to needing a more secure financial plan for immunosuppressive medicine coverage. The committee is $ 10,000 of a fundraising effort recommending" Nov. . 20.
Martin's son did start a GoFundMe campaign Sunday that raised nearly $ 28,000 as of Monday afternoon.
The hospital system declined to interview with Newschannel 3, but sent a written statement.
Spectrum Health acknowledged in the statement that a candidate's ability to pay is a factor in transplant decisions.
Spectrum said in the statement, "When we do not comment on specific patient conditions, our Spectrum Health cares deeply about every patient that enters its doors and provides them the highest quality of care possible," Spectrum said in the statement. "While our primary focus is the medical needs of the patient, the fact is that transplants require lifelong care and immunosuppression drugs, and therefore costs are sometimes a regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision-making process."
Martin developed congestive heart failure due to a complication from the chemotherapy treatment.
The $ 10,000 is required to cover a 20 percent copay for two years of anti-rejection drugs.
"The transplant team does not want to 'waste' a vital organ if she can not afford heart rejection drugs." Martin's GoFundMe page states "However, they are not willing to put on the list knowing it will still give her time to raise money over a year or so through family."
Martin and his son did not respond to interview requests Monday.
In a Facebook post Monday morning, Martin wrote the letter of the transplant care again for Tuesday, now that she's raised $ 10,000 from the post-transplant care for the most.
Spectrum Health's full statement regarding patient seeking transplant:
"While we do not comment on specific patients, protects their privacy, Spectrum Health cares deeply about every patient that enters its doors and provides them the highest quality of care possible. While it is always upsetting when we can not provide a transplant, we have an obligation to ensure that transplants are successful and that donor organs will remain viable. We thoughtfully reviewed candidates for heart and lung transplant procedures with care and compassion, and these are often highly complex, difficult decisions. While our primary focus is the medical needs of the patient, the fact is that transplants require lifelong care and immunosuppression drugs, and hence the costs are sometimes a regrettable and unavoidable factor in the decision-making process. We partner with our patients Our clinical team has a ongoing dialogue with patients about their eligibility, holding frequent in-person meetings and inform patients in-person to ensure they fully understand their specific situation. "