We're excited to launch the Family Spotlight series and give you a small glimpse into the story of families we have the privilege of serving. This month we're chatting with the Climer family...
Can you tell me a little about how you ended up in the hospital?
Jason: I got pneumonia and then heart failure in December so turns out I needed a new heart.
Sheila: Jason got sick in early December 2017. The doctors are still unsure of exactly what happened, but he was healthy and active until the beginning of December. They think he possibly had an infection (like the pneumonia) that then attacked his heart. They have also said that it's possible he had an underlying condition that we were not aware of. It's been a long road since he was initially admitted to the hospital on 12/21.
Can you tell me about your experience with The Joe Beretta Foundation?
Jason: A genuine blessing. The Hospitality House was welcoming/super positive with a generous sense of community and support that made my post op recovery and transition go far more smoothly and comfortably than I would’ve ever imagined. Our stay at the HHH was largely in part from the financial support received from TJBF.
Sheila: From the very start, TJBF has been an amazing blessing to our family. The TJBF has offered information about the LVAD process that we knew nothing about. I appreciated being about to access information about the Foundation to learning about the history and mission of the program. We were made to feel that we could reach out to TJBF at any point with any questions we might have. I felt like we had another guide to help us with a journey we knew nothing about. Like our very own tour guide through the LVAD process.
Can you tell me about a specific moment where TJBF was able to help you?
Jason: too many to choose from...
Sheila: TJBF provided financial support to allow us to stay at the HHH. This helped our family not only financially, but mentally and emotionally as well. By not having to worry about the cost of the living arrangements, we were able to pay housing related bills back home without fear. Jason, myself and our 12 year old son were able to spend the 4-6 weeks together, instead of apart, because of the support from TJBF.
What are some of the things you enjoy doing?
Jason: Spending time with family, playing music, trying new foods and local restaurants, listening to pod casts and going to the park with my son.
How often do you get to do that these days?
Jason: All the time, just with a few restrictions.
If you were to speak face to face with the donors who helped provide you with help, what would you say?
Jason: Thank you, not just for what you’ve done for me, but for doing what you do period...for everyone. Also, I’d mow their yards but I’m not allowed to operate a mower.
Sheila: I hope that each and every one of you realizes the impact your work and donations have on families like ours. We can’t begin to thank you all enough. We have FULL intentions of “paying this forward” in some way. You are an amazing organization and I’m sure you will continue to expand your support to other LVAD families.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Sheila: After visiting your website, I realized that our families share a common factor, our Puerto Rican heritage. This was a pleasant surprise. When I shared this with my sister she said “I see and feel God’s work throughout this entire journey. This is just another sign.” Thank you again for your care, support and dedication to a great cause.