Warren nurse ready to return home

Photo submitted to Times Observer Christi Carson’s heart still requires the help of two ventricular assist devices, but she will be going home to Ashville, N.Y., on Friday for the first time since the birth of her four-month-old twins. Carson, a 2002 graduate of Warren Area High School, was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy in April.

Christi (Spackman) Carson had an emergency C-section in April.

She was put on a waiting list for a heart in June.

And she will return home to Ashville this week.

Carson, 38, was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy in late April, about two months before her twins were due.

She has been at UPMC Presbyterian ever since.

The twins, Isla and Arabella, are “doing great,” Carson’s step-father, Mark Woody, of Warren, said. “They’re meeting all their benchmarks.”

“They’ve started cooing,” he said. “They’re smiling ear to ear.”

Carson herself has improved. Although she still is connected to two ventricular assist devices to help her heart do its work, she is not on any oxygen, Woody said. “She is upbeat.”

When Carson is out and about, she has more to carry around than twin girls. “She has two sets of backup equipment and batteries with her at all times,” he said.

The family was told recently that Carson would have to stay in Pittsburgh for another month. A day later, that decision was overturned.

“They are all coming home on Friday,” Woody said.

It’s a mixed blessing.

Carson, her husband Dan, and the twins, will be able to spend time at home around family and friends.

But, she will not be eligible for a transplant for at least a few more months.

“She was hoping to get the heart sooner rather than later,” Woody said. “She knows it’s a setback.”

Carson is scheduled to return to Pittsburgh in December.

She will undergo three weeks of platelet pheresis – a process that separates platelets out of whole blood – to remove any antibodies that could cause her body to reject a heart transplant.

“Then, she will be listed for the heart transplant,” Woody said.

The family continues to accumulate medical bills and other expenses. A recent fund-raising basket raffle at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, where both Christi and her husband, Dan, work, was very successful, Woody said.

“There are other fund-raisers in the works,” he said. “Contributions may be made to the Dan and Christi Carson account at Northwest Bank or the GuFundMe.”

“Any and all community support is welcome,” he said. “We know we’ve got people praying for us. Every one of them is appreciated. It’s getting us through day-to-day.”


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