La Habra Jane's Journal 90631

Tidbits and Commentary from Jane of the Journal.

Noah Needs a Heart
Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Jamie and Josh Lietzau have started a fund raising effort for their nephew which they have titled Noah’s Heart.  The nine-year-old needs a heart transplant and his aunt and uncle decided they could help by raising funds to meet all the costs that go along with major medical expenses.

 They are selling tickets to the Angels Tampa Bay game on August 18 at 6:30 p.m. Each ticket will cost $28 and 10 of those dollars will go to Noah’s Heart.  Jamie has set up a Facebook site. If you want more information you can contact her through it.

The editor called Noah’s mother, Melody Lietzau, to ask if she could report the story. The first thing she said  was, “This is not a pity article.”  Noah is the nine-year-old son of Jason and Melody. He has a six-year-old brother Josh and an adopted sister Hannah who was born in China.

Image 
Jonah and Noah Lietzau are the sons of Melody and Jason Lietzau and the brothers to their little sister Hannah who was napping when the photo was taken. 

 

“We all suffer and it looks differently for every person. The place God has us—we’ve seen evidence He is working on the situation and has us in His hands. We have hope bigger than our suffering which gets us through each challenge,”  Melody said.

She might have added, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” 

The story begins more than two years ago after Melody suffered a miscarriage. Three days later it was Adoption Sunday at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada where Jason is an elder. “I jokingly said,’ Are You ready to go get our daughter?’ to Jason. He replied, “Actually yes.’” After much prayer they applied to an adoption agency that handled Chinese orphans who had medical problems.

Pretty soon they were gazing at little Hannah who had serious heart problems. It took quite a while to clear all the formalities but eventually the Lietzaus received permission to enter China and proceed with the adoption. Knowing she needed medical care as quickly as possible made each obstacle painful, but as each was overcome Melody and Jason’s faith in divine intervention and purpose in their lives grew.

When they returned to California with their daughter, she was examined by doctors at CHOC who determined she needed heart surgery immediately. She had the surgery, recovered, and is now almost four with little indication of her earlier difficulties. In fact she is a bundle of energy and shows no mental or physical signs of her earlier distress.

This year while Dr. Chang, her cardiologist at CHOC, examined her and knowing Melody’s history, suggested Hannah’s brothers should have EKGs. You see, Melody has heart muscle myopathy and had a pacemaker installed when she was 20. Her father also had a pacemaker and muscle weakness.

The EKGs were scheduled and Jonah’s was fine, but the doctor noticed several irregularities in Noah’s. Dr. Chang arranged for Noah to see a cardiologist friend at UCLA who is director of the UCLA transplant program. He saw them for free. That doctor told Jason and Melody Noah needed a heart transplant and he needed it soon. They couldn’t go camping in the mountains because of the altitude and Noah shouldn’t run. 

Noah has something called restrictive cardiomyopathy which means the muscles of his heart are weakened. So far he appears to be taking the situation in stride. He did have one question that concerned him and asked, “Do I have to ask Jesus into my new heart when I get it?” His father told him Jesus would always be with him and cherish him.

When the editor was talking to Melody on Monday, July 2, Jason was doing everything he could to get his medical insurance switched from the PPO program they were in to one that would allow them to see the doctors at UCLA. By Friday Jason had been told the insurance could be switched. The editor is sure Melody sees this as more evidence that God is on their side.

Once they get to UCLA if Noah is placed on the list it will take six to nine months to get a transplant.  “We don’t have lots of information yet, but once the insurance is switched we will sit down with the team and learn what is coming. It’s a good team and invested in our family. That’s why it has been our goal to have them treat Noah,” Melody explained.

According to Melody, her brother and sister in-law wanted to help in someway and since no one knows what the medical costs will be decided on the baseball tickets as a way to raise funds the family can call on. “We like to be on the other side of things,” Melody said. “We’re not used to receiving. It’s humbling.”