Mother in need may finally get a new heart

After being given 6 months to a year, hope is in sight

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a 35-year-old mother of five was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given less than a year to live, she finally got some good news that may give her a new lease on life.

Laquisha Mathis was also diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy, where her heart became weakened after giving birth.  But after recently being approved for disability, Mathis now has the opportunity to get a heart transplant.

"Immediately when I found out I started crying in front of everybody, and everybody was looking at me and I didn't care.  It was happy tears," Mathis said.

They were tears of joy because now that she is approved for disability, Mathis is one step closer to receiving coverage under Medicare, the final hurdle before she can get a transplant.

Since receiving the good news, Mathis said that she feels energized and excited. But that energy and excitement may be short-lived because her Medicare won't kick in until 2016.

"My doctor only gave me six months to a year and so I don't have that time to wait on Medicare to kick in," Mathis said.

Now Mathis is planning on moving her sister and her children to a state that is willing to accept her insurance so she can get the transplant she needs.

"If Atlanta, Georgia, tells me I'm accepted, I'm going to pick up my life and just move. Because I don't have any other choice and I want to live," Mathis said.

Mathis' doctor will now write a referral letter to Emory Hospital, which said it will accept Mathis' insurance and pay for the heart transplant if she passes a few tests.
This process could take up to three months, but Mathis said it's better than waiting until 2016.

Mathis' friends and family have also set up a Go Fund Me account at gofundme.com/ojy1qw and are holding a fundraiser at a tag football event on April 11 at 4 p.m. at 1231 Abess Blvd.