New Beginnings……..

1437940979_love_valentines_day_11                         Our site is called new heart = new beginnings

 Life is full of new beginnings to all of us.  I am sure everyone will relate. 

                               NEW BEGINNINGS

It’s only the beginning now
…a pathway yet unknown
At times the sound of other steps
…sometimes we walk alone

The best beginnings of our lives
May sometimes end in sorrow
But even on our darkest days
The sun will shine tomorrow.

So we must do our very best
Whatever life may bring
And look beyond the winter chill
To smell the breath of spring.

Into each life will always come
A time to start anew
A new beginning for each heart
As fresh as morning dew.

Although the cares of life are great
And hands are bowed so low
The storms of life will leave behind
The wonder of a rainbow.

The years will never take away
Our chance to start anew
It’s only the beginning now
So dreams can still come true.


Are you Eligble for a heart transplant ?

In my writing I want to be able to educate and give true experiences on being listed for a heart transplant.  In my daughter Lauren’s case she was in CHF.

What is congestive heart failure (CHF)?

Heart failure describes the inability or failure of the heart to adequately meet the needs of organs and tissues for oxygen and nutrients. This decrease in cardiac output, the amount of blood that the heart pumps, is not adequate to circulate the blood returning to the heart from the body and lungs, causing fluid (mainly water) to leak from capillary blood vessels. This leads to the symptoms that may include shortness of breath, weakness, and swelling.

Understanding blood flow in the heart and body

The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs while the left side pumps blood to the rest of the body. Blood from the body enters the right atrium though the vena cava. It then flows into the right ventricle where it is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery. In the lungs, oxygen is loaded onto red blood cells and returns to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary artery. Blood then flows into the left ventricle where it is pumped to the organs and tissues of the body. Oxygen is downloaded from red blood cells while carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism, is added to be removed in the lungs. Blood then returns to the right atrium to start the cycle again.

Now it’s time for the truth. I am not going to say I am an expert, but we lived through it, and I am writing on our own experience.

We had a Dr.’s appointment with a Heart Failure Specialist in Boston Ma.  After a quick exam, we were  told
she was admitting Lauren right that day.

During that time, to be honest I had no clue what in the world was going on.  After a couple of days, a team of Dr.’s came in and introduced themselves  to us, they were the Heart Transplant Team.

They told us that they felt Lauren is at the point where she would need a heart transplant.  Her heart was getting weaker.

Trust me, it is nothing like in the movies.  If you need a transplant, you are not just put on the list.  You have to be accepted, and this is done by a committee within the hospital.  So many factors have to be considered.  It was a 4 day evaluation.  Number 1 factor was Lauren’s general health.  Next it had to be approved by your insurance, then they had to evaluate Lauren’s support system.   As you are going through this process, I remember praying that Lauren would be a candidate for heart transplant.  At the hospital where we were, the transplant team would have weekly meeting on Wednesdays.  In the meeting was the Social Worker, Transplant Team Doctors, and the surgeon.  They decide if you will be placed on the list.  The day was March 13, 2013 when the team came into Lauren’s room and said she has been placed on the Heart Transplant List as a 1A.  My thought was my daughter is going to live.

Not everyone is accepted to be placed on the donor organ list

Below is the evaluation process…..

Heart Transplant Evaluation

Patients who may be helped by a heart transplant undergo an extensive evaluation of their heart disease and general health by the Heart Transplant Team. The evaluation period is a time of learning for patients and their families. During the evaluation, the heart transplant nurse collects the patient evaluation information and presents it to the heart transplant team for discussion at a weekly meeting. The evaluation process provides information for the team to determine if the patient’s condition is severe enough for a heart transplant and if transplant is a valid option.

Typically, the evaluation includes two days of outpatient testing and interviews. Patients who are very sick may be evaluated while they are in the hospital. The evaluation includes assessments of both the cardiovascular system and the body as a whole.

Cardiovascular Tests

Cardiovascular systemassessments includes the following tests:

Chest X-ray and/or CT scan: Pictures of the heart and lungs
Electrocardiogram (EKG): Measures the electrical activity of the heart taken through patches applied to the skin
Echocardiogram: An ultrasound of the heart that reveals size and heart muscle function, as well as the valve function
Exercise stress test: Measures how well the heart is supplying oxygen to the body. Patients walk on a treadmill while their heart and oxygen levels are monitored
Right heart catheterization: Measures the pressure in the heart and lungs. A catheter for monitoring pressure is passed through a vein in the groin or neck and into the heart
General Health Tests

General health information includes a history of immunizations, medical information and dental health, as well as the following tests:

Pulmonary function test (PFT): Determines air volume in the lungs and identifies lung conditions that might be a problem after transplant
TB skin test: Identifies exposure to tuberculosis
Blood tests: Identifies blood type; tissue type; varicella zoster, hepatitis (A, B and C), toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and HIV; tests immune system, kidney and liver function and thyroid function.
Cancer screening tests: Determine if cancer is present. May include a colonoscopy and/or prostate specific antigen (PSA) for men, and a mammogram and/or Pap smear for women
Urinalysis and 24-hour urine testing
Peripheral vascular/carotid artery studies: Measure blood flow to the brain and legs, and identify any blockages in the blood vessels
Abdominal ultrasound: Checks for masses, cysts and aneurysms in the abdominal organs and blood vessels
During the evaluation, certain conditions may be identified that may prompt additional testing and consultations to further determine transplant candidacy. These concerns and appropriate treatments are discussed with patients and family members.

If the heart transplant team decides that transplant is the best option and patients agree, patients are “listed for transplant.”

Lynne 1437940979_love_valentines_day_11

A update on Lauren’s results from her Biopsy

News from Boston

Lauren had her biopsy, a couple of weeks a go.  As I said, there was no rejection.  They wanted Lauren to have her blood work done again in  week to recheck her taccrolimus levels.  They were a little low, so they upped her dosage for a week and then have it rechecked.

Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive drug used mainly after allogeneic organ transplant to reduce the activity of the patient’s immune system and to lower the risk of organ rejection

Friday Lauren’s Dr. from Boston called and said, they have to make another adjustment.  So now they lower it a bit, and also lowered her potassium by one capsule 750mg.  Lauren has been taking 5 a day so now 4 a day.  Tacrolimus can interact with your kidneys.  So Lauren’s kidney levels were elevated. They also adjusted her torsemide from 100 mgs. twice a day to 50 mgs twice a day


Torsemide belongs to the group of medicines called loop diuretics. Torsemide is given to help reduce the amount of water in the body in certain conditions, such as congestive heart failure, severe liver disease (cirrhosis), or kidney disease. It works by acting on the kidneys to increase the flow of urine.


These are all the meds Lauren has to take every day.  I sometimes feel like  small pharmacy here.

Since the transplant, I have learned the lesson that medicine is a science.   It takes a lot of adjusting.  Factors can be the time she takes them, food Lauren eats, exercise and most important fluids she drinks.

Lauren takes a total of 26 pills through the day.  We fill her pill boxes once a week so everything is organized and ready for the day.

We have a new phrase around here ‘It’s that time of the month”, meaning refill time.


Today is our 16th Wedding Anniversary


To my Husband, I love you more than I could ever tell you.


I still remember the day we met, you said “hi there”, and I was hooked.  That was 19 years ago.

Since then, we may have grown  a little wider (ha ha,) and older, but I still think you are the most handsome, kind, plus a wonderful father to our children.What more could a  women could ever want.

Everything that our family has gone through, I would have never been able to do it without you.

Love you


What’s up with Oral Surgeons ????

When you have a bad tooth ache or are in pain from your wisdom teeth, you are recommended to see an Oral Surgeon.  You say OK.  Now you call the office, you’re in pain (nothing is more painful than a tooth ache) and they say to you “the dr. can see you in 3 weeks for a consult first”.  Your first thought is “are you kidding me, 3 weeks!!!!!”


Now the search continues, you call other offices and they say the same thing.  I get it, they are busy, but how is a person to live and go on with their daily lives with that kind of pain.  Impossible.

A good friend of Lauren’s is going though that right now.  We can relate to her, because when Lauren was having pain with her wisdom teeth, she had to wait almost a month before they would see her.  Even with her transplant team from Boston calling, nothing sooner.

In this day and time, when a person needs medical care, especially for mouth pain, it should be addressed. Any comments on this subject ?????????


Lauren was named Chicopee’s Ambassador for Donate Life New England


Today was a special day…Chicopee has a new Ambassador.

Lauren Meizo, was given the official title of

Chicopee’s Ambassador for Donate Life New England

Pictured with Lauren is Matthew Boger, State Relations for Donate Life.  They were at the Chicopee Registry this morning, spreading the word.

Lauren’s duties will be to educate, inform and tell her story about organ donation.

If you have an organization, or event that you feel Lauren would be an asset, to the event to speak on this topic, please feel free to contact us.


My daughter, amazing, strong, beautiful, with a strong willingness to help others.

A very proud mother


A note from Lauren ***

I am honored to be thee Ambassador of Donate Life for my community. Spreading the importance of organ donation has become my new passion. I am one of the lucky ones who actually was able to receive an organ, my heart in time. This is not true for all. Currently, over 123,000 people are waiting, many with their lives on hold to hear those five life changing words, “we have found a match!” while others may never get that second chance, all due to a shortage of organs. Before I went through all I did, I never put any thought into organ donation. So now that’s why I am here to encourage others in becoming Organ Donors!

With sincere love & all my heart,


Ambassador for Donate Life, NE