Benefit for Tami Woodley Anderson is May 15 at Eagles
Tami Woodley Anderson was planning to attend a benefit planned specifically for her Saturday, May 15. She will not be able to attend.
That's OK, though.
The former long-time Hastings resident received a special gift Monday afternoon - a new heart at the University of Minnesota Hospital. She had been on the heart transplant waiting list since the fall of 2008.
Woodley Anderson lived in Hastings most of her life. She is a 1985 graduate of Hastings High School. Her husband, Kevin, is the son of Hastings residents Gordon and Dolores Anderson.
On Monday afternoon, shortly before Woodley Anderson's surgery was going to happen, she talked (from her hospital bed) about the past 15 years and her health problems.
She had been undergoing treatment for endometriosis. When she experienced severe arm pain, she went back to the doctor and the hospital. Two blood clots had formed. Those clots damaged her heart.
"They told us in 1995 that we were looking at a heart transplant, but to do what we could for as long as we could," Woodley Anderson said.
In the spring of 2009, with the heart condition worsening - she was already on the transplant list - Woodley Anderson had a LVAD (left ventricle assisted device) surgically implanted.
"It's like an artificial heart," she said. "It works to relieve the pressure on the heart."
Following that surgery, Woodley Anderson's name was removed from the transplant list until she recovered. She has been on the list again since September 2009, until Monday, that is.
"We got a call about 5:30 a.m. that they had a heart," she said.
Tami and Kevin and her parents, Layton and Karen, drove to Mason City to catch an airplane ride to St. Paul. From St. Paul, she rode in an ambulance to the hospital. Her in-laws met them there.
As she waited for the surgery, Woodley Anderson said she was excited and scared.
She came out of surgery Tuesday morning and was doing great.
She talked about two best friends, Jane Borndale and Pam Werner, who are planning a benefit for her, and how blessed she is to have had them with her for more than 25 years.
Borndale and Werner are planning the upcoming benefit to help the family pay some of the ongoing costs.
The result of their planning is a benefit at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 15 ,at the Eagles Club in the Midtown Center. The event includes food (sloppy joe dinner), silent and live auctions, and drawings.
"I've known Tami since 1981 and we have been best friends since," Borndale said. "The family does have insurance, but they have other costs right now."
Anyone interested in making a donation for the auctions can contact Borndale at 651-324-3650 or Werner at 651-210-6644.
The cost for the benefit is $10 for adults, $5 for those 12 and younger. Tickets will be available at the door.
A fund in Woodley Anderson's name has been established at Wells Fargo Bank (all locations).