LEARN Education MARY FERRIER: Living While Waiting

I taught my five year old granddaughter EvaLyn how to change my batteries on my LVAD. She’s very curious about me getting a new heart and how this all keeps me alive. I had her listen to my mechanical heart with my stethoscope. Quite the experience.

Mary Ferrier, August 3, 2016 on Facebook

Mary Ferrier of White Lake was with another nurse in her office at Trinity Health (now Mercy Health) when she became lightheaded. She wasn’t surprised that her heart was in an abnormal rhythm. She had been experiencing heart issues for several years. What surprised her was how concerned the medical staff was.

They did a heart catheterization and learned that the output from her heart was low enough to place her on a heart transplant list. Yet, her antibodies were high and she would need chemo first. In the meantime, her heart beats with the help of something called an LVAD, a left ventricular assist device, which is a pump for patients who are in end-stage heart failure.

While she has a good energy level most days, she now needs to recharge the LVAD batteries on a regular interval and wear some of the equipment around her waist. Yet, she won’t let that slow her down from time with her children and four grandchildren. The photo shown here with her husband Don was taken during a night out at a nonprofit event.

I received a phone call from my transplant Doctor this morning to let me know my antibodies are going down. He still does not want to put me on the 1a list because he doesn’t think I would get a heart match with my antibodies as they are. I will continue to pray for a new heart and continue to live my life to the best of my ability.

Mary Ferrier, August 16, 2016 on Facebook

On August 17 she posted a graphic that states, “I am strong, but I am tired.” This year, on October 20, the American Heart Association will host its second Go Red For Women Event at the Verdonis Event Center in Muskegon. The event will feature exhibits, networking, survivor stories, and a Purse-inalities silent auction. Tickets and information are available at Heart.org/MuskegonGoRed.


“Funds raised at the Go Red For Women events help to provide education and cutting edge research. We don’t know what today’s research might discover to help Mary, but we know that research which was funded in the past has brought medicine to a place where it can help Mary now when she needs it,” said Cindy Bouma, communciations director for the American Heart Association in West Michigan.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. The Go Red For Women movement has been tying local efforts into national efforts to deliver the message that Going Red is about finding a personal way to take part in this fight. Whether it’s visiting a healthcare provider, eating a healthier diet, or increasing physical activity, you can do something special to love your own heart.

“I’m learning to appreciate every moment,” said Ferrier. “Wouldn’t it be great if I were to get my new heart in time for this event?” Yes, Mary, it would.

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