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Southern MN woman in need of heart and kidney transplant

"The rejection meds I'm on have killed my kidneys along with the heart failure," explains Elizabeth Sammons.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 10:46 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 8:29 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Life isn't fair. We're taught that at a young age and for some patients at Mayo Clinic it rings true. That' especially for patient Elizabeth Sammons, who is now in the fight of her life, for the second time.

It was just four short years ago Elizabeth was in need of a heart transplant. Now, the young woman in her 30's finds herself back in the hospital needing not only a new heart but also a kidney.

Elizabeth's hospital room, an otherwise sterile environment, is brightened with puzzles, board games, walks with her husband, and pictures of puppies.

"The rejection meds I'm on have killed my kidneys along with the heart failure," explained Elizabeth Sammons, as she waits for her transplants.

As the months go by Elizabeth tells KIMT she is becoming less patient.

"I had a lot of stuff to get through when I first heard that I might need a second transplant. It was more hard for me in the fact that I already have a donor family. My donor's name is Mason - I felt like I was letting him down," said Elizabeth.

A heart of gold, she is always looking to give back to others.

"We have cold Minnesota winters a scarf is the least I can do," explained Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is giving back with the use of a hook and yarn.

"My big project was in 2015, we did 1,000 scarves for St. Paul," recalled Elizabeth.

She, along with a group of others, tied scarves around trees in a handful of St. Paul parks. When they came back two weeks to gather any remaining scarves, none were left.

"I like helping people. I think a lot of times, not just homeless people, but people in need get a bad rap and this was something where they didn't have to go to a shelter to get it. Shelters are great, but some people might have too much pride to do that or feel embarrassed. So this was a way to be able to give something, nobody needed to know who they are taking it," said Elizabeth.

To date, Elizabeth has made more than 2,000 scarves and hundreds of baby hats (many of which she donates to the Northfield hospital).

If you're interested in helping Elizabeth the best way possible is to sign up to be an organ donor.

"It is great to get back to life because you slowly dwindle down. You literally sit on the couch or in a bed because it exhausts you to do anything else. Then when you get that new heart it is like instant energy," said Elizabeth.

According to donate life 113,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

You can sign up to be a donor at Donate Life.

Otherwise, if you're more interested in helping Elizabeth and her husband, Dustin, with mounting medical bills check out their GoFundMe.

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