Touched by an Angel

Letters to Sammy

Samantha Remington Samantha Remington Samantha Remington

Samantha Remington had always been a fighter. It’s a good thing as her battles began before her birth in 1992. Early in her mother’s pregnancy, a deadly virus attacked major organs in the developing fetus at a most critical time. Sammy was born five weeks early and was rushed into surgery to remove a choledochal cyst that was wrapped around most of her internal organs. While still recovering at Denver’s Children’s Hospital it was discovered that her heart was defective. Sammy would not live to see her first birthday unless she received a new heart. At four months of age she received a life-saving heart transplant.

Samantha led a relatively normal life until age fourteen when she required corrective spinal fusion surgery for scoliosis. She recovered and resumed the life of a normal teenager when her next deadly challenge arose. In January of 2010 a routine heart catheterization showed her transplanted heart was starting to fail and that she would shortly need a second heart transplant. In May 2010, her symptoms suddenly became acute, and she was listed for another life-saving heart transplant.

Miraculously she waited only five days before she received this second gift of life. Her entire family will be forever grateful to the two families who, while suffering extreme grief, decided to donate healthy organs so others may live.

During that time Samantha’s parents had been able to pay her mounting medical bills. However, the financial burden of this second heart transplant was compounded because, like so many people in this current economic environment, Sammy’s father lost his job. Samantha was covered by health insurance, but it was short-term, had a high co-pay requirement, and the premiums were expensive.

Over the years, Samantha made many visits to Children’s Hospital and University Hospital in Denver where she observed many children and their families suffering through heart-breaking trauma. Samantha expressed her desire to help children and young adults financially and with other support and encouragement from the perspective of one who understood their difficulties.