A Chilton woman has received a life saving heart transplant at the tender age of 35 after a health battle that began in 2010.
April Miron was first diagnosed with the inflammatory disease sarcoidosis after suffering numerous health issues. The disease can affect multiple organs in the body including the lungs and lymph glands, but it can also affect the heart and brain.
After experiencing more health issues in 2014, April was diagnosed with blood clots in her legs and lungs and was sent to the UW Hospital in Madison.
An ICD/Pacemaker was implanted to treat irregular heart beat at which time complications of bleeding around the heart caused April to spend many days in the intensive care unit.
Things went relatively well for April for the next year or so until May of this year when more symptoms led her to open heart surgery where a device was attached to her heart to help pump the blood.

Shock and disbelief
April was also added to the heart transplant list as doctors discovered her heart was failing.
“I was shocked and in disbelief,” April said. “I didn’t realize how bad my heart was.” April wondered if she would live long enough to receive the transplant as her thoughts also went to her son. “Would I get to see my son grow up?”
“It was a shock,” added April’s husband David. “I never thought that I would meet someone who had or needed a heart transplant, much less that it would be my wife.”
April’s father, Al Ammerman, of Elkhart Lake,  said he experienced many emotions upon finding out his daughter needed a heart transplant, and admits he was scared. “She is a strong fighter that never considered quitting.”
“It was really scary. You feel helpless because there is nothing you can do for your child,” April’s mother Sue confirmed. “You want her to be there for her own child. It was also hard to pray for someone else to die so my child might live.”
As April awaited her new heart, more challenges occurred for her in June of this year when she underwent her second open heart surgery, after which she received treatment for a blood infection.

Receiving the gift of life
After a brief hold on the heart transplant list while she healed, April’s status was reactivated on Sept. 15 and she received a call notifying her a heart was found to be a match for her just a few days later on Sept. 21.
“I was surprised and nervous,” April said of the call and the ride to Madison. “I had been on the hold list for transplant and had just been reactivated. It was only six days after reactivation and I just couldn’t believe it.”
April received her new heart on Sept. 22, and after a two week recovery period she returned home to Chilton on Oct. 7.  
April said she is thankful for her family who have been there for her during her entire health crisis.
“My husband David takes care of me,” she said. “He did all my dressing changes with my LVads. He came to the hospital daily, even if it was just to watch me sleep. He was my biggest supporter. I couldn’t have gotten through this without him.”
David was able to stay with April’s aunt in Madison while April was hospitalized. “Aunt Mary also lets us stay at her house when I need to go to Madison for biopsies,” April added.
April also credits her mom and dad for helping take care of the couple’s home and son.
“My husband works for SCA in Neenah,” April added. “The company has been great. He works from home when he can, which isn’t much lately but enough to cover insurance.”  
The Miron family is grateful for the support of family, friends, and the community. “We’ve gotten  lots of prayers and we have received a couple of gas cards,” April said. “The American Legion Auxiliary is planning a spaghetti dinner in April that will benefit me.”

Long road ahead
April knows she has a long road ahead of her with follow up appointments in Madison which will include regular biopsies of her heart and monitoring of her anti-rejection medications.
A YouCaring site has been started online to help the couple with the financial strain of April’s illnesses, transplant, and frequent doctor visits along with the life long medical expenses they will incur.
While April isn’t sure what the future will hold, she is grateful she has a future to look forward to and would love to find out who donated the heart that saved her life. “That person is now a part of me. I would love to know the person and family that was so gracious. I am eternally grateful for their gift of life.”

Become an organ donor
“Please, please, please sign your license,” April stressed in encouraging others to become organ donors. “Let your family know what your wishes are. I was very lucky a heart became available so fast. A lot of people aren’t as lucky. One donor can save many lives. The more people that donate the more people it gives a chance at life.”
“We are grateful to the donor and their family for going forward with the donation.,” David added. “While we feel for their loss, we are eternally grateful.”
“Death can be so unexpected,” April’s mother Sue said. “Everyone needs to let their families know their wishes about being a donor. Donating organs can help so many patients. Getting a heart was the only way April even had a chance at a full life. We are deeply appreciative to the family that donated this heart. We feel for their loss.”
Those wishing to help the Miron family are welcome to visit youcaring.com/AprilAMiron.
Gift cards for grocery stores and gas may be mailed or dropped off at their home located at 303 Saratoga St., in Chilton. The couple can be reached at (920) 849-4570.
Low or no sodium and low carb freezer and crock pot meals would also be appreciated as well as assistance with transportation for their son to and from school.

Thankful and appreciative
“There are so many people to thank from the surgeons, nurses, NP’s and cardiologists at UW Health in Madison,” David said. “It was a godsend that April’s parents could take care of our son Holden. It was also nice that April’s Aunt Mary Scullion allowed me to stay at her home in Madison.”
David continues to be amazed by his wife. “She is stronger than anyone else I know. I can’t imagine having three open-heart surgeries in five months, or coming out of them all with the resilience  she showed.”
“April has been one tough cookie,” Sue said. “She has an inner strength that got her through all the rough times. She said she would stay strong and fight to make it through. Giving up was not an option.”
David is equally impressed with how their nine year old son has handled his mother’s medical trials. “He missed us being at home, but overall I could not have guessed how strong he was through everything.”
April said the doctor’s have given her a good prognosis and she says she hasn’t felt this good in a long time. “I have so much energy now. I was told from the beginning that I was a good candidate for a transplant. I should be able to have the life I want to live.”
“All I know how to do is fight and I’m going to keep fighting to live the life I was meant to,” she added.