Hearts for Binghams
Welcome to the ‘Hearts for Binghams’ website.
We are deeply grateful for the love, concern and support our children have received over the years. With all our ‘hearts’ thank you.
Gage came home from his heart transplant in June 2017. It was a long and challenging 21 months away from home. He is now an active, fun loving, and energetic nine year old who loves to get into trouble with his cousins, and eat pickles. He currently does not have any rejection, but that can change with every checkup. His next checkup is in January 2018.
Lindsey is now 4 ½ years post-transplant. Her new heart is doing very well with no rejection reported. Her next check- up is also in January 2018. She is currently in 8th grade and loves to dance and play volleyball.
Sierra is now 2 ½ year post-transplant on her second heart. (It’s been over 11 years since her first transplant in 2006). She has had several runs of rejection, but is currently doing well. She is a senior in high school and is reluctantly preparing to venture out on her own. The idea of managing ALL her own meds (which are NOT a few) and doctor appointments is very overwhelming.
We maintain a blog at jasonandstacybingham.blogspot.com. Here we update the current events of the kids and the management of this crazy situation we have found ourselves in. Good rule of thumb is if we haven’t updated for while then the heart kids are doing well. If the updates start popping in daily, then some issue has hit the fan. So…. check as often as you like and please leave comments. We love to hear from you.
On behalf of the Bingham family—Jason, Stacy, Sierra, Megan, Lindsey, Hunter, and Gage—thank you for visiting. We are sorry to need this site, but we are grateful to be able to offer Jason and Stacy and their family support during their ongoing trials. We are equally grateful to see their courage and determination. Truly, in all their challenges we find great hope and inspiration.
If you are not familiar with the Bingham, the challenges they face, and the strength with which they are facing them, please read the brief material on this site, or the more detailed accounts and day to day updates on Jason and Stacy’s blog. If you would like to donate to support the imposing long-term medical and travel costs they face, please use the DONATE button below.
A final note… this site continues to thrust the Bingham family into public view—something they have had to do for the last nine years. They have consented to this (at the request of others) only on account of the incredible circumstances they face. Please consider their need for privacy. The Binghams thank you! Please be patient and give them time to show their gratitude. They are truly grateful for the love and support shown to them.
You may also mail donations to: Bingham Heart Kids 2055 2nd Street Baker City, OR 97814
Sierra’s Heart Fails
In the summer of 2006 Jason and Stacy’s oldest daughter, Sierra, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. She was six years old. Megan, their 2nd child was 4, Lindsey was a cute 2 year old, and Stacy was pregnant with their 4th. In short, Sierra’s heart had weakened, causing it to enlarge to the point that it could no longer function adequately to support her body’s needs. Sierra was suffering congestive heart failure. Sierra’s condition worsened quickly and she was transported to Stanford hospital in California where she could receive the best care available for her condition. The prognosis for Sierra became dire as the condition of her heart deteriorated, and in a short time she was placed on a transplant list to await a heart. If a heart did not become available in time, Sierra would have to be placed on mechanical support—a temporary and desperate life-sustaining measure. There are no words to describe the anxiety that Jason, Stacy, and Sierra faced during this ordeal, while caring for 3 other young children. Only those who have endured similar trials can truly comprehend.
Ultimately, a heart did become available and Sierra became the beneficiary. Sierra’s transplant was successful, and the Binghams and all their family and friends were at last able to breathe a sigh of relief. This brief account of Sierra’s experience does no justice at all to incredible emotional, physical, spiritual and financial tolls that the Bingham family endured during Sierra’s ordeal, and in the years of medication, testing, and biopsies which followed her transplant. Receiving a new heart was just a beginning. Following the successful transplant and 3 months of recovery, Jason and Stacy felt that this trial was more or less over. Perhaps with this trial, however, the Lord was preparing them for an even greater trial.
Lindsey Faces the Same Trial
In May 2012, Jason and Stacy were shocked to find out that their 3rd child, 8 year old Lindsey, was in the advanced stages of the same disease—dilated cardiomyopathy. She toowas flown to the same hospital where Sierra was treated, and the Binghams began reliving the same ordeal they faced six short years ago. Lindsey was placed on the transplant list in June 2012. Lindsey waited a total of 285 days in the Stanford children’s hospital while hooked to the mechanical support of the Berlin Heart. Her hospital room became the Bingham’s home for all 7 of them. Then, on Valentine ’s Day, 2013, Lindsey received her new heart.
Gage’s Heart Failure
In June 2012, during the same week Lindsey was surgically being attached to the Berlin Heart, Gage was admitted to the same hospital where Lindsey was being treated. Gage, the 5th (and last) child, was diagnosed with ‘complete heart block’. He received and still has a pacemaker inside his chest to keep his heart in the proper rhythm. For the first couple days Lindsey and Gage shared the same room in the CVICU. It was also discovered that Gage hadthe beginnings of same heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy. It needs to be said, the Binghams have NO history of heart failure. Parents, grandparents and extended family on both sides have normal healthy hearts. Extensive genetic testing has been and continues to be done to discover the link and reason for this heart failure.Everyone was tested after Sierra’s initial diagnosis in 2006. At that time NO child had any signs of heart failure. It wasn’t until 2012, when the other children’s heart problems were discovered. All the kids are now tested regularly to look for signs of failure.
Sierra’s 2nd Transplant
Over the last 9 years, and during Lindsey and Gage’s trials, Sierra has had signs of rejection, increased heart pressures, and coronary artery disease. Her condition has weakened to the point that she needs another transplant. In March 2015 Sierra was place back on the transplant list. Then, in late May, her condition worsened and was hospitalized and assisted with IV’s to maintain her weakening heart. She was later released to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) at Stanford to wait for “the call.” In May 2015, Sierra and the entire Bingham family had the amazing opportunity to meet the family of Sierra’s original donor. She had received her heart from a little boy named Nicholas. The grandparents, siblings, and family members had the chance to listen to Nicholas’ heart beating in her chest. It was a neat and emotional experience. They are a wonderful family and will always be our heroes.
Although the Binghams knew that a heart might not become available for up to a year, or longer, they got “the call” on Monday June 15 at 11:53 pm. Sierra went into surgery on June 16 at 5:45 pm, and came out 11 ½ hours later at 5:20 am. About 9 hours later they took the ventilator out, and she has steadily improved ever since. She is now recovering at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital with her mother Stacy and her younger siblings. She is currently on a number of medications and receives weekly biopsies, treatments, and checkups to monitor her new heart. Jason, is home in Oregon working, but is looking forward to the next trip to California to be together with his family.
The Binghams are hopeful and courageous—they know that miracles occur – they have experienced them. They understand that they must be a pillar for their children, even though at times they are just as scared and just as overwhelmed as they are.
Gage’s heart condition declined to the point of needing mechanical support. In Nov 2015 he was placed on the HeartWare device which helped his heart pump until transplant. After 17 ½ months and many difficult challenges, Gage received his new heart April 5, 2017.
Once again, we ask for your prayers and, where possible, donations on behalf of the Bingham children. Gage’s will be the 4th heart transplant the Bingham family will have gone through in less than 10 years. That said, they are very thankful for all that has been done for them, in spite of the continued struggles they face. They are especially grateful to the donors and their families…and to Heavenly Father, who has supported them through all these trials with hope and miracles.
Donations are Appreciated
Jason and Stacy have not asked anyone to help them, but we—their friends—understand the high cost of the medical care they are receiving, not to mention the life-long costs that follow each child after a transplant. In fact, I cannot personally emphasize too much what a significant burden these costs are for the Binghams. And so we do not shrink from organizing fund-raising efforts to assist them. If you are inclined to make a donation to the Bingham family, we thank you and want to be clear that every cent collected through this site goes directly into the Gage Heart Fund at Umpqua Bank to cover medical and transportation costs. There are no administrative costs associated with the fund or this site. We also want to emphasize that no portion of this site—including all fund-raising and donation efforts—was requested by any member of the Bingham family. We are the Bingham’s friends. We love them and we’re doing everything we can to help them during this difficult time. Some will be able to help with donations, other with time, and yet others with prayers and encouragement. All are equally important and are equally needed.
Thank you for visiting
One last note… Jason and Stacy would be grateful if family and friends would pray specifically that the doctors and staff at the hospital will be given wisdom in making the moment-to-moment decisions regarding Gage’s care, that Gage’s heart and body will be strengthened and sustained while he continues to receive medical care, and that a family somewhere (like Nicholas’ family) will have the courage and inspiration in their own unexpected moment of tragedy to make the decision to donate a heart that will find its way to Gage. Thank you and God bless.