The Beretta home is a lively combination of Italian and Puerto Rican heritage, Tennessee hospitality and unconditional love. Their long-held belief is that faith and family are everything.
When Joe Beretta, the patriarch of the family, experienced sudden advanced heart failure in Spring 2016, his family was introduced to the LVAD, or Left Ventricle Assist Device. Patients being considered for a VAD have reached a critical point in their health and most will not survive if they don't receive it. VADs rely on relatively new technology that is difficult to implement outside of a very advanced hospital setting. Because of this, only a handful of hospitals across the United States are able to accommodate VAD patients.
Fortunately Joe and his wife, Lillian, lived just miles away from Vanderbilt University Hospital, where Joe underwent the LVAD surgery. As the Beretta family walked through months of painstaking, time consuming evaluation, pre and post-op hospital stays and the early stages of rehabilitation, they began to wonder how other families are able to get by if they don't live close to the hospital.
After much discussion, Lillian asked a member of the Vanderbilt team how commuting VAD families are able to undertake the strain of travel expenses. It grieved her to learn that many families are denied approval for the VAD process because they are unable to afford the weeks of hotels and commute costs. The VAD is miraculous but imperfect, so patients & their caregivers must spend four to six weeks within 60 miles of the hospital where they're being treated for outpatient, post-op care. If they do not agree to incur the costs of relocating during this time, they will NOT receive the VAD.
She also discovered that her family was largely in the minority as roughly 70% of Vanderbilt's VAD patients and their families live more than an hour away from Nashville and must look for temporary housing in order to meet guidelines and qualify for implantation. The Berettas determined that they would do all that was in their means to make a way for those in need of VAD implantation to have the support they need.
On July 2, 2016 Joe passed away due to unforeseen complications. With the dream of providing hope and resources for VAD patients already in her heart, Lillian and her family created The Joe Beretta Foundation. Our mission is to establish a community of strength and meet the practical needs of advanced heart failure patients and their loved ones.
The Joe Beretta Foundation provides emergency housing, emotional support, holiday outreach, short term financial assistance and more for patients in four hospitals in two cities (Nashville, TN and Pittsburgh, PA). Since our inception, we have assisted 400+ individuals, provided over 875 nights of stay, and prevented 42 families from facing the impossible choice between medical homelessness and hospice.
One of the largest burdens not covered by insurance is housing. Our goal is to build "Papa Joe's House", a home in Nashville where several families can stay during the most trying times of their VAD journey.