Family raising money for 1-year-old daughter who underwent heart transplant

ALGONQUIN – Danielle Bockman was suffering from a cold with a runny nose and low-grade fever, like most babies do.

But when she had that cold, her breathing was faster than usual, so her mother, Susan, took her to the doctor.

“I knew the way she was breathing, it just wasn’t right,” said Susan Bockman, who is a nurse practitioner.

Tests showed Danielle’s heart was only pumping at 15 percent capacity, Susan Bockman said.

“Only a little bit of blood would come out of the heart,” she said.

Danielle only had a 30 percent chance of heart recovery and needed a transplant.

She went on the transplant list April 3. On May 13, Danielle received a new heart.

Now Danielle faces a lifetime of medical expenses related to the transplant, and insurance will only cover so much.

So Danielle’s family is trying to raise money to help with the ongoing expenses.

The family has started a fundraising Web page through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

The money will go toward Danielle’s medical expenses during her life, such as anti-rejection medication, heart biopsies and possibly another transplant many years in the future.

“We’re collecting money that will be there for her throughout all these years,” Susan Bockman said.

Her child had contracted the parvovirus, which settled in her heart.

While waiting for a transplant at the Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital, Danielle had to be on a ventilator and needed to be on paralytic medication so her body wouldn’t work too hard.

The Bockman family was lucky, as a transplant came on May 13 – an early birthday present for Danielle, who turned 1 on Monday.

Danielle is still at the Lurie Children’s Hospital recovering. In 10 days to two weeks, she is expected to be moved to the Ronald McDonald House as the next step in her recovery.

Susan Bockman said she expects to be able to bring her daughter home around July 4.

Even though the Lurie Children’s Hospital has a cardiac care unit, Danielle’s situation is uncommon, Susan Bockman said.

But parents need to be vigilant.

“If something seems outside the usual, there’s a reason for it,” Susan Bockman said. “It needs to be looked into.”

Learn more

To donate to Danielle Bockman’s Children’s Organ Transplant Association account, visit http://cotaforteamdanielleb.com.

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