About Jessica Johnson
With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients. In St. Clair Shores, volunteers are raising funds for transplant patients like local woman, Jessica Johnson.
Jessica Pauline Bailey was born with Cystic Fibrosis. This life-threatening genetic disease has left Jessica with only 30 – 40% of her normal lung capacity, and she will continue to lose lung capacity until she passes away. Compounding the threat of Cystic Fibrosis, Jessica developed a gastro intestinal disorder and the most severe case of diabetes. The diabetes was a result of steroids Jessica took as a teenager, which caused her body to stop producing insulin. These steroids, along with the multitude of other drugs Jessica has taken throughout her 33-year-long life has also caused Cirrhosis of the liver.
Currently, Jessica must take enzymes with every meal since her body can no longer digest fat. However, Jessica’s body needs fat since it burns an astounding 4,000 – 6,000 calories a day to simply stay alive. As a result, Jessica has poor weight gain, scoliosis, hypothyroid, ostopenia and anemia. Overall, Jessica’s life has been a battle, but she continues to fight.
Jessica was told she would never have children. However, on September 8, 2010 she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, named Samuel Carter Johnson. Jessica is a loving, caring and wonderful mother to both Samuel and her step-daughter Sepporah. But because of Jessica’s declining health, she hasn’t been able to be the mother she strives to be – enjoying time and activities with her children.
Jessica’s lungs are now poor enough that she requires a double lung transplant to live. One of the qualifications to get on the list is the ability to live in Cleveland for 2 months to a year (this is where the transplant hospital is located). To make this happen, we must raise $60,000 for doctor bills and living expenses. If we have to fly to Cleveland because of bad weather, this alone will cost $8,500. We are using COTA (cota.org) to help with the fundraising and any gift you can contribute is much appreciated. God bless.