Family Battles Heart Failure Again

November 14, 2018 05:51 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s been three years since a Minnesota family lost their dad.

Now, two more family members are fighting for their lives, battling the same disease.


“My dad was ... pretty fine to me, and then it kind of just happened out of nowhere, just like with my siblings,” said Samantha Torres.

In 2015, her dad died after complications from congestive heart failure at just 40 years old.

“His body appearance changed," Torres said. "He was coughing all the time; it almost seemed as if he always had a cold."

Now, two of her siblings are in the ICU at Mayo Clinic for the same disease.

“They both are in the ICU and they both are currently on life support,” she said.

“Both of their hearts stopped, their heart and lungs,” said their mom, Linda.

Her 19-year-old daughter Gloria had a heart transplant in 2014, but she was admitted to Mayo Clinic Hospital-Saint Marys Campus on Nov. 9.

“Things haven’t been going well all around for my daughter," Linda said. "The past year’s been really rough; she’s been in and out of the hospital."

Six months ago, the family found out another sibling, 23-year-old Isaac, has the same disease.

“My two kids that have congestive heart failure right now, they didn’t really have any major symptoms, you know, (leading) up to this,” Linda said.

On Nov. 10, Isaac was admitted while visiting his sister in the hospital.

“So he actually snuck down to the ER and admitted himself, because he was coughing up blood,” Torres said.

In addition to the heart problems, Isaac’s lungs keep filling with fluid.

“It’s hard for all of us, especially my mom, because she took care of my dad every day, and she’s been dealing with my little sister since then, and now she has to worry about her son, too,” Torres said.

She started a GoFundMe to help her mom make sure she can drive from the family’s home in Faribault and pay for necessities while staying at the hospital.

“I want my mom to be financially OK after the fact, because we don’t know what’s going to happen; anything could happen,” Torres said.

She and her other siblings have not been tested to see if they, too, have the disease.

But being the oldest, she feels she needs to so her younger siblings will do the same.

“I myself haven’t gotten checked, but it is something that I am now considering, because two out of six children is kind of crazy, you know,” she said.


Alice Keefe

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