Money for Transplant Recipient Stolen

Cash gathered at a fundraiser to cover medical expenses was taken.

LAUREN WARNER 722

Money raised to help a family pay for medical expenses for a sick daughter were stolen from their New Haven home last week.

Carlyn Warner was visiting her 29-year-old daughter, Lauren, in a New York hospital when someone broke into their home on Dixwell Avenue and made off with $1,380 raised during a Zumba-thon.

“Someone broke into our house Friday night while we were off seeing Lauren and stole the money, the fundraiser money, and other personal items from the house,” Warner said.

Lauren, has been fighting for her life.  First, she battled Interstitial Lung Disease, a condition in which scar tissue built up in her lungs and made it impossible for Lauren to breathe.

“Hearing that she needed a lung transplant, I never said it to her, but my feelings were like ‘Oh my God’ she's going to die, and I'm powerless to help her,” said Carlyn Warner.

Lauren got a lung transplant just 20 days after she was first put on the transplant list, but the new found optimism didn't last long. 

Lauren also has lupus, which started attacking her new lungs and she took a turn for the worse.

For more than 180 days, she lay in a coma at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

“It's been very stressful having to go back and forth to New York. Every day, in the beginning, I went every day,” said Warner.

Warner was juggling hospital visits, a 10-year-old son, and Lauren's 6-year-old son who needed care. On top of that came the horrendous medical expenses.

“Her medical insurance is $560 a month along with co-pays, medication co-pays, getting back and forth to New York, parking,” she said.

The family decided to hold the fundraiser to help cover some of those costs.

Now, the Warners are starting from scratch, but they won't give up.  Lauren is making progress and could be moved to a rehab center in Connecticut in a few weeks, and that's all that matters to her mother.

“What am I supposed to do? I'm supposed to take care of my child and that's what I'm going to do,” she said.

You can find information about the LJW Every Breath Fund on Facebook.

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