For those who are not familiar with his story, Sean was a Las Vegas resident diagnosed in 2005 with cardiomyopathy after a virus attacked his heart. Finding himself unable to breathe well, Sean was hospitalized where doctors initially decided to implant a defibrillator. However, the surgeon operating on him ultimately concluded that Sean, who was only 28 at the time, was too young for the procedure and instead chose to treat his illness with medications.
Two years later in 2007, Sean collapsed at work and finally had a defibrillator implanted to assist his heart. In 2010, that defibrillator was needed to restart his heart and save his life. It was clear to doctors from that point forward that Sean needed a heart transplant to survive.
When insurance companies failed to cover his condition and anticipated medical expenses, the Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation partnered with the Semon family to raise money needed to add him to the transplant list for a new heart. Getting listed for a transplant represented a second chance for Sean to live a long and healthy life, and renewed his enthusiasm for a dream of one day starting a non-profit organization that would bring hope to children suffering from similar heart conditions.
Sadly, Sean lost his battle with cardiomyopathy on Sunday, November 23, 2014 before he could realize that dream. We are deeply saddened by this loss and, on behalf of all staff members and partners of the Hope for Hearts Foundation, we send our heartfelt prayers and thoughts to Sean’s family and friends during this difficult time. We were honored to know Sean, we were inspired by his spirit, and we will miss him dearly.
As the holidays approach, we remind you how important registering as an organ donor really is. Thousands of others like Sean are still on the transplant list waiting for a new heart. In the spirit of the season, please consider registering as an organ donor. After all, the most beautiful gift some will receive this year is a second chance at life, only made possible by those who choose to commit to organ donation.
For more information on how to become an organ donor, please visit http://unos.org/ today.