HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Hutchinson teen Evan Bartholomew’s life is filled with opportunities.
“I like to work, hunt, and fish. I work on my truck,” Evan said. “Working with my dad.”
In June, on the verge of turning 18, he made an unexpected trip to the hospital.
“He was perfectly healthy. No one knew he even had an issue with his heart, and then to go in the hospital and find out in just a few days that you need a heart transplant … is very traumatic,” said Sherri Pendergrass, a family friend of Evan.
Instead of starting his senior year at Haven High, Evan spent time in Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
“I don’t know. I was kind of shot down,” Evan said.
In early September, he had open heart surgery to place an LVAD (left ventricular assist device).
“It just takes the work of the heart off of his heart so it pumps more efficiently,” explained Julie Bartholomew, Evan’s mom.
Evan is temporarily paused on the transplant list. He will reactivate once he’s healed from his LVAD surgery.
Between surgeries, transportation, and lodging, the bills add up.
Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is raising money for Evan.
“We can focus on Evan’s health,” Julie said.
Family friends like Pendergrass are working with COTA to host fundraisers.
“It could be life-changing for Evan because it will be a lifetime benefit for him,” community coordinator Pendergrass said. “If he can’t afford to pay his insurance premium, or he has to make trips to Kansas City depending on where he lives.”
Their goal is to raise $50,000.
“There’s really not enough words to explain how thankful we are for people’s willingness to help in this difficult time,” Julie said.
“All I ask for is a prayer,” Evan said.
It’s the heart of the community, giving Evan hope.
COTA’s first fundraiser to support Evan is Oct. 7 at the Moose Lodge in Hutchinson from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the Ticker 4 Tater event. There will be a baked potato bar, a silent auction, and drawings.
The Haven High Volleyball team will be hosting an Evan Night on Oct. 17. They will be raising money to donate to COTA.
Pendergrass says they will be planning more events to benefit Evan.
Interested in donating, click here.