Dubai: Visiting Dubai has topped the bucket list of a 24-year-old American woman with a debilitating heart condition.
Jennifer Ortiz, from Colorado, published her list on GoFundMe.com earlier this week after being denied a third heart transplant.
She said “she’s scared and sad” but “trying to stay positive” in the post, which has since gone viral, attracting US$49,000 (Dh179,975) in less than a week.
The first thing on her list is to travel to Dubai to see the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall.
Other items include a trip to New York to see a Broadway musical; going to Morocco to ride camels through the desert; meeting the Jonas Brothers; and renting a house with her family for Thanksgiving, as she has spent the last five Thanksgivings in hospital.
“I have had two heart transplants, three open heart surgeries. I have been denied by multiple hospitals for a third transplant due to the risk of surgery and high antibodies. My body isn’t doing as well as I would like and my options are limited to non-existent at this point. Not knowing what the future holds for me and that I am already on borrowed time, I am looking to live the rest of my life the best way possible. I am scared and sad but am trying to stay as positive as I possibly can. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family and spending quality time with loved ones,” she said in an emotional post. “I am seeking donations to help me enjoy the best quality of life possible. I am wanting to spend more time out of the hospital and enjoy what life has left for me,” she added.
Ortiz was diagnosed with an enlarged heart when she was 11, after suffering a prolonged cough. She had her first heart transplant at age 12, and a second in 2017.
She is currently relying on a biventricular assist device (BiVAD), which helps pump blood through the body when the heart is failing. Her family said they are not sure how much time she has left.
We’ve got to condense a lifetime into as much time as we have,” her father was quoted as saying in a media report.
Jennifer Ortiz’s bucket list:
• Go to Dubai; Burj Khalifa, Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
• New York; go to a broadway show, see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, dinner with my east coast friends
• Italy; Rome, Venice (gondola ride), Lake Como (train ride though Switzerland)
• London; London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace
• Spain; Barcelona, Madrid
• Attend a taping of Ellen
• Meet the Jonas Brothers (I already have tickets for Oct 2nd)
• Go to Morocco and ride camels through the desert
• Meet Bruno Mars
• To see Lizzo in concert
• Go to a home game to watch the Cowboys
• To see Avril Lavigne in concert
• California; rent a house to celebrate Thanksgiving with my entire family (It has been 5 years since I have had a Thanksgiving dinner with any of my family)