PAINTED POST | A Painted Post woman is recovering from surgery that her family and doctors hope will give her a new lease on life.
Trenell Filkins, a mother of four, has suffered from congestive heart failure and related conditions for nearly two decades.
Her husband, Patrick Filkins, says she needs a heart transplant, but her declining health has kept her from being a good transplant candidate.
In January, Trenell received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) during a surgery at Rochester General Hospital.
The device helps her heart pump from the lower section to the aorta, which transports blood to the rest of the body.
An LVAD can be used in one of two ways.
It can be a “bridge to transplant,” where it is used to keep the recipient healthy while awaiting a heart transplant, or it can be “destination therapy,” where it’s assumed the device will be used for the rest of the patient’s life.
Patrick Filkins said in Trenell’s case, they are hoping through rehabilitation and the help of the LVAD, she can transition from being a destination therapy patient to being a transplant candidate in time.
He said they’ve received a lot of help from the community, both in emotional support and through multiple fundraising efforts.
A benefit concert was recently held at Two Rivers Church in Corning to help with Trenell’s medical bills.
The show featured performances by YK (Marquelle Filkins) and JC (Jaovion) featuring Matt, Ben and Spencer, Aidan Lukey Bear Smith, with guests Corning-Painted Post students Josie, Sabrina, and former student Destiny.
Patrick Filkins said the family has also been helped by local businesses, including B’s Pizza, Fiesta Brava, Crystal Cinemas, Color Masters and others.
He said while Trenell spent 11 days in an induced coma after the surgery, she is now home spending time with her family and beginning rehabilitation.