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Home / News / A YOUNG MAN-BUSY HELPING WHILE WAITING ON A HEART

A YOUNG MAN-BUSY HELPING WHILE WAITING ON A HEART

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John Reyes knows that each beat of his heart may be his
last, but this Texan is helping others with the little energy
he has each day.
Reyes, 37 years of age, is a patient in the Heart
Institute of the University of Texas Medical Branch
(UTMB) in Galveston, waiting for a heart transplant.
Since he is on the heart recipient list, his days are filled
with doctor visits and treatment. Each day he also has
hours to think. His mind is alert; his body strong – his
heart is his weakness. But, by using his cell phone, he
finds time to help others.
He oversees the rebuilding of the house in Dickinson,
Texas, where he lives with his wife, Alisha, and their six
children plus his sister-in-law, Coleen Reyes, and her 80
year old mother.
He supervises the home schooling for three of his
children, Nevaeh, Kensy, and Kolby. Two sons, Nick
and Jaiden, who attend public school, check in with their
dad every afternoon, sharing daily activities, concerns,
and homework. Reyes’ cheerful attitude and his hope for
a long, happy life keep them bolstered as they, too, put
their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey.
Reyes decided to move his family to Dickinson from
Andrews, Texas, back in May because his son, Kolby,
16, and his daughter, Kenzy, 13, both needed medical
treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital for immunity
disorders, treatment that would probably continue
indefinitely. This meant a job transfer to Katy, Texas and
their moving in with Coleen Reyes, his sister-in-law, in
Dickinson, some 60 miles from his jobsite.
Hurricane Harvey arrived August 27, 2017 and all of
the family and their dogs were evacuated by boat to the
nearby Bay Area Harbour Playhouse in Dickinson on
Highway 3 where they lived for six days and nights.
The theatre’s founding director, Bennie Nipper, says
that the Reyes family saved her theater by building temporary
barriers that kept out rain plus any possible looters.
They mopped up water as it came in under the doors
and placed canvas tarps over the leaking roof.
When they went back home, the Reyes discovered
Harvey’s wind and water had destroyed their truck, 3
automobiles plus their personal belongings and the first
floor of the house.
As they started rebuilding, John noticed he often had
shortness of breath and was often tired. But he attributed
this to his 4-hour commute to his 8-plus-hours job and
working on the house when he got home.
November 13 severe chest pains forced him to go to
the emergency room at UTMB where he began his journey
for a new heart.
His wife, Alisha, says people can help John by praying
for him and his doctors and by donating to help
with expenses associated with the heart transplant.
Donations are being accepted on a GoFundMe account
(John Alisha Reyes) and also at the National Bank of
Andrews (John Reyes Heart Fund) in Andrews, Texas.

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