In 2008, Steven Gittens' doctor sent him to the hospital after an EKG revealed elevated heart palpitations. He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Steven is no stranger to heart disease, as he has an extensive family history of heart issues on his father's side. Although Steven has visited countless doctors and tried many treatment options, his condition continues to drastically worsen. On January 21, 2012, doctors implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which will act as a mechanical heart while he awaits a lifesaving heart transplant.
Despite his health challenges, Steven always has a smile on his face and is thankful for the support of his family and friends during this difficult time. This former college football player looks forward to the lifesaving transplant that will allow him to return to his active lifestyle. More than anything, he wants to spend many more years watching his teenage daughter grow up. But he needs your help.
A heart transplant costs approximately $1 million. And that's only the beginning. Even with health coverage, he faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, Steven will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very costly, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
To learn more about Steven or to make a donation to help with his transplant-related expenses, visit his page on the NFT website.
February is American Heart Month, a time when people are encouraged to evaluate their lifestyles and learn the symptoms of heart disease to protect themselves and their families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Each minute, someone in the U.S. dies from a heart disease-related event.