‘I’ve said goodbye to her 3 times’; Jamestown woman’s transplant put on hold after COVID diagnosis

Piedmont Triad News

JAMESTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — A Jamestown woman has turned into a horrific illustration of the strain COVID-19 has put on area hospitals after a life-saving surgery was put on hold due to the virus.  

Keith Miller describes his wife Jennifer as a medical miracle.  

At age 28 she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer but beat the odds and the disease. However, the battle took a huge toll on her body. Doctors discovered her immune system would be forever compromised.  

At the end of July of 2021, Jennifer’s liver began to fail at a quicker rate than doctors had anticipated.  

The, now 42-year-old had battled COVID-19 in March and received her COVID Moderna shot in July, before her diagnosis.  

On August 26th, Jennifer was taken to a High Point hospital with internal bleeding, linked to her failing liver.  

Her husband, Keith, explained that she was taken by ambulance, but due to the lack of ICU beds the hospitals was unable to give her the treatment she needed. “You watch the news, and you see it going on, and you don’t feel it. And then when you go in and a doctor walks up to you within 18 hours of hospitalization and says if we can’t transfer her from this facility to the larger facility that can do the work, she’s got 24 hours to live. And unfortunately, right now, we don’t have a bed for her.” 

After a day-and-a-half wait for a bed, Jennifer was transferred to medical facility in Charlotte that had an available bed.  

After a series of test, doctors determined she would be a good candidate for a liver transplant and scheduled it for August 31st.  

That morning, however, a CT scan detected white spots in her lungs similar to those found in COVID-19 patients. “The doctor told me that if it comes back that she has COVID the chance of her surviving just went down ten percent,” Keith explained. “And she would be ten percent for the next week and a half, because her liver is what helps fight COVID off.”  

Two COVID test came back negative, but a third confirmed that it was COVID.  

Hours before she would have been wheeled in for surgery, Jennifer was instead taken to a COVID wing, and her liver transplant was cancelled.  

Overcome with emotion, Keith explained that in that moment he was forced to say goodbye to his wife.  

“I’ve said goodbye to her three times in the past two weeks. To say it this many times at this age. . . it just hurts. She’s got COVID, they want three weeks to have her isolated because she has an immune issue. [Doctors] give her liver 6 to 7 days tops.”  

While Jennifer waits for a negative COVID test, doctors have seen signs of hope, with her liver functions slightly improving.  

Keith said, it will be a long three weeks, but that his wife has a fighting spirit. “She’s just a female warrior. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever met. I could never, in a million years be able to endure the pain and suffering she has gone through. It’s just phenomenal to me. She’s an angel.”  

To read more of Jennifer’s health battle, visit her GoFundMe page.

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