‘I don’t have a pulse:’ Heart of the family needs heart of her own

Posted at 8:57 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 09:00:35-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- It can be said a mother is the heart of the family, but what happens when the heart of the family needs a heart of her own?

Amy Starr is battling congestive heart failure and hoping a transplant will give her new life.

A big hurdle, though, is the price. So the organization Woman's Life is raising money for the local mom in need.

She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure just one day after she ran a 10k.

Amy Starr in the hospital

Amy Starr in the hospital

"She wasn’t even able to walk up a flight up steps," said Amy's husband, Adam, adding that doctors in West Michigan told Amy she needed to do something and do it fast.

"I don’t have a pulse, I don’t have normal blood pressure," Amy said.

Amy Starr

Amy Starr

Since her diagnosis, the mom has undergone three major surgeries. And now a heart pump is keeping her alive, with two bulky grey batteries sit by her side.

"I can’t swim, I can’t go in the water," Amy said. "With a drive line coming out of your stomach, you can’t jump up and down; you can’t lay down on your belly."

For Adam, the worst part is knowing that his wife's heart continues to weaken every day and will continue to do so until it's replaced.

Amy has hope. "Being able to do the things I haven’t been able to do with my kids is going to be such a huge gift."

But heart transplants come with an unimaginable price.

"We’re looking at someone else having something really really bad to happen to bless us with a donation of a heart," Adam said. Amy says she doesn't wish that on anyone, but what she is wishing for is a fully functional life.

The batteries Amy uses to power her artificial heart pump

The batteries Amy uses to power her artificial heart pump

A heart transplant fundraiser for Amy Starr will be held Friday, March 24, from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. at Boulder Creek Golf Club, 5750 Brewer Ave NE, Belmont, Mich.

"It’s not very often you get a chance to do this for someone you really care about," said Roberta Lathrop, the president of Women’s Life Chapter 890.