Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt, Twitter

Hospital Denies Woman Heart Transplant Unless She Can Crowdfund It

It's hard to know a truly desperate situation until you face one that literally puts your life on the line. And although many of us would pay any cost for a chance to see what the future holds, sometimes that cost is more than we can possibly give.

However, even a situation that dire only seems truly hopeless when you're forced to face it alone.

And if there's any silver lining to 60-year-old Hedda Martin's terrible predicament, it's that she found out how much support she really has.

Hedda's troubles began with a breast cancer diagnosis, but they only became more complicated from there.

Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt

According to her son, Alex Britt, the chemotherapy she underwent in 2005 caused severe damage to her heart that eventually resulted in life-threatening congestive heart failure.

Until last year, Hedda still pressed on as the owner of a local dog walking and pet sitting service called Urban Tails.

Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt

However, her heart's condition became serious enough that she had to go on disability in January of 2017. Eventually, her doctor prescribed what's called a Left Ventricular Assist Device, which serves as a stopgap until she can get a new heart.

However, the need for that heart sharply increased this September when hers fell back into life-threatening condition.

Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt

She sought help at Spectrum Health's Heart & Lung Specialized Care Clinics, where Alex said she was given a medication called Milrinon IV.

Although this drug likely helped save her life, it's only a short-term solution.

However, Hedda heard some discouraging news when she met with the transplant team.

Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt

Since she didn't have the $10,000 for the immunosuppresive drugs needed to keep her body from rejecting the heart, she discovered that she didn't meet the requirements for the heart.

According to Alex, this prevented them from putting her on the waiting list even though that would still give her time to raise the money.

So how was Hedda supposed to get the money needed to save her life?

Twitter | @Ocasio2018

Well, as the letter that ABC 13 reported Hedda posted on Facebook would suggest, Hedda needed a "fundraising effort." And since there are only so many fundraising options available to the average person, this basically meant she had to crowdfund it.

This letter soon spread to Twitter, where it caught the eye of the newly-elected member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Fortunately, public outrage wasn't the only thing that happened when this letter went viral.


As unsatisfying as the fundraising advice may have been, Alex still followed it and set up a GoFundMe campaign for his mom.

In the description, he said that $10,000 dollars would cover the copay needed for two years of the anti-rejection medication.

In the weekend after the letter was posted, Hedda's heart fund had already received an outpouring of support.

Facebook | Hedda Elizabeth Britt

ABC 13 reported that by the weekend after Hedda posted the letter, the campaign had already received $12,400.

As of this writing, that number has ballooned to $29, 685, which is almost enough for six years' worth of the medication.

Within only two days, 456 people came through to give Hedda another chance at life.

Twitter | @scixpmas

The future of living with her condition is still uncertain, but only support like this could give the days ahead any hope of getting brighter.