Transplant News Sharing // News from Source observer-reporter.com
Donations have been pouring in from across the Pittsburgh region for a Greene County woman on life support in a hospital in South Carolina.
Morgan Yoney was on vacation with her family in Myrtle Beach last week when she became ill. Morgan has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder in which the lungs and digestive system are clogged with mucus, often resulting in the need for vital organ transplants. Morgan has had several transplants, including a second double-lung transplant in 2016 and a kidney donated by her mother in 2017.
According to a family friend, Jessica Murphy, Morgan had contracted pneumonia while on vacation. The infection led to bacteria entering her blood stream, causing her to become septic. Then her kidney stopped working.
“They’re afraid the kidney may not bounce back,” Morgan’s mother, Tammy Yoney, said in a Facebook video update Monday. “She may end up having to need another kidney transplant.”
Morgan is in a transplant hospital in Charleston, but her family and team of Pittsburgh doctors would like to return her home for treatment.
“The team here has agreed that it would be better for her to be in Pittsburgh, not only for us to be around our family, but just because the team knows her well,” Tammy said in the video.
Tammy said in Monday’s video that the Charleston hospital is doing “all they can,” but that Morgan is still “declining.” Tammy said she’s confident that Morgan’s Pittsburgh doctors will be able to do more for her treatment.
“To an insurance company, one transplant hospital isn’t any better than another, but we all know that’s not true,” Tammy said in the video.
Since Morgan is now on life support, moving her isn’t as simple as finding someone to make the drive in an ambulance or fly her in a helicopter, Tammy said. Morgan is on a ventilator and round-the-clock dialysis.
“Unfortunately, it’s not that easy because Morgan’s critical,” Tammy said in the video.
Tammy posted a picture on Facebook Monday of her hand next to Morgan’s. No one was allowed to touch Morgan because doctors fear any response from her to stimuli could cause her blood pressure to drop.
“I’m not allowed to touch her but I sure hope she can feel me sitting, praying next to her,” Tammy wrote in the caption on the photo.
In another Facebook video Tuesday afternoon, Tammy said she is allowed to touch Morgan and hold her hand now. She said that Morgan was stable Tuesday, with no improvement or decline, as she is heavily sedated.
According to Tammy’s Tuesday video, hospital staff woke Morgan once Tuesday, and “she woke up fighting mad,” Tammy said.
“So they had to hurry up and sedate her again,” Tammy said. “They just wanted to make sure she was able to be aroused.”
The family and doctors are worried insurance won’t cover the cost to transport Morgan by a medical plane, which would likely be required to continue life support services. So, Tammy posted a link to her PayPal account and Murphy started a GoFundMe page to collect donations to help pay for the transport. The GoFundMe, “Help Morgan get Transported to Pittsburgh!” has more than 330 donors, 2,800 shares and has raised more than $15,000.
“I thank you guys so much,” Tammy said in Monday’s video. “No amount is too little, anything to get her home. If I have to beg, I will. It’s my kid, it’s her life.”
Murphy said many people have been reaching out on the fundraiser page to help Morgan get home.
“They’re super-hopeful that she’ll be able to get out today,” Murphy said Tuesday.
In Tuesday’s video, Tammy said they have a plane waiting in Pittsburgh to fly to Charleston by 6:30 p.m. All they’re waiting on now is for the insurance company to approve the transfer of care.
“I’m not really sure what the hold-up is,” Tammy said in Tuesday’s video. “You guys have all made it possible for us. I still don’t have an exact number, but we’ll take care of that later. If we get $30,000, we won’t be like swimming in debt, if nothing else. Like I said, you do what you have to do for your kid.”
Tammy said that she’ll be allowed to fly with Morgan. Meanwhile, Morgan’s father, Bob Yoney, left their Charleston hotel Tuesday and headed for Pittsburgh, she said.
Murphy said the family is also hoping that UPMC Presbyterian Hospital will have an open bed in the intensive care unit. Murphy said that as of Tuesday morning, only one bed in ICU was open.
“My fear is that they’re going to fill that bed before we get her up there,” Tammy said in Tuesday’s video. “So pray that doesn’t happen.”
Tammy mentioned in Monday’s video that she’s the only one in their family allowed to see Morgan due to COVID-19 restrictions. That’s why Tammy pleaded with people watching her video to wear face masks.
“I don’t care if you’re asthmatic,” Tammy said in Monday’s video. “She’s fighting for her life, and they put a mask on her when she goes. When your family member’s back there in the ICU, you’ll know why you need to wear a mask.”
Tammy thanked people for donating to bring Morgan home and encouraged folks to “keep praying, keep sharing” and to “put your mask on.”
“We need COVID to end so Morgan’s family can be with her,” she said in the video.
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