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Lifestyle

Hunterdon County Woman, 27, Seeks $25K Week Before Life-Saving Intestinal Surgery

The Hunterdon County community is rallying to support Flemington native Jacqueline “Jacqui” Heid who is more than $25,000 short on donations needed for surgery to treat her rare medical condition.
The Hunterdon County community is rallying to support Flemington native Jacqueline “Jacqui” Heid who is more than $25,000 short on donations needed for surgery to treat her rare medical condition. Photo Credit: GoFundMe Screengrab

The Hunterdon County community is rallying to support a Flemington native who is more than $25,000 short on donations needed for surgery to treat her rare medical condition.

Jacqueline “Jacqui” Heid, 27, has a condition mostly resulting from Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome (SMAS), which compresses the first portion of the small intestine — called the duodenum — between the Superior Mesenteric Artery and the aorta, causing severe bloating and pain after eating, she told NJ.com.

Heid’s condition, which onset after she was involved in a serious car accident in 2013, affects just .013 percent of the population. After learning of Wilhelm Sandmann, a German doctor with experience performing life-saving operations on patients with her condition, Heid raised more than $50,000 on GoFundMe and underwent the surgery five years later.

Now, at least three new compression areas have been formed, causing a reoccurrence of Heid’s condition. She once again took to GoFundMe for help raising money for the operation. But less than one week before her new scheduled surgery date on Sept. 22, she remains about $25,000 short of her $50,000 goal.

“At this point, surgery is my only option and without it I will die,” wrote Heid, who currently lives in Highland Park. “I have gone from a determined and very active young female to a sickly individual who rarely leaves her home unless absolutely necessary. I have had to medically withdraw from college and have had to put my dreams of being an English teacher on hold. Time is running out and I need all the help I can get.” 

The money raised on the GoFundMe page will be used to cover Heid’s deposit for surgery, transportation, lodging and food.

“I am just so grateful for everyone who has helped us get this far and to finally have a date set,” Heid wrote in a Sept. 7 update. “Thank you all again so much for helping me along this crazy journey that will hopefully be over soon. It is always truly baffling to me to see just how much support and love I have around me from everyone and I couldn’t be more grateful!”

Click here to view/donate to Heid’s fundraiser, “Hold Onto Hope.”

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