The Hasselmans Hold Onto Hope

By: Suzie Gilbert Email
By: Suzie Gilbert Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Hope has turned to heartbreak for a Topeka couple. 13 News first brought you the story of Greg and Melanie Hasselman last year. Greg had been waiting for a heart and liver transplant, when hundreds of people showed support, through money, and through kind words. Now Melanie says she wants supporters to hear the next chapter of the story.

"The first day I got back to work, within the first hour, I took a phone call of a man who's wife passed away. It hit so close to home... I couldn't stop thinking about Greg and how that could be me someday," Shawnee County Dispatcher Melanie Hasselman said.

Melanie's husband Greg was born with a rare congenital heart defect. His heart can't pump blood properly. The blood often gets backed up. Last year, doctors told Greg he'd need a rare heart and liver transplant. But just a few weeks have passed since doctors told the couple that the blood is backing up into Greg's lung. They say he now needs new lungs, as well. It's a quadruple transplant that Melanie says will never be approved.

"It's different being told a transplant's not even going to be an option. This is it. You have the best doctors in the world telling you there's nothing else they can do for us," Melanie said.

Doctors have given Greg six months to a year to live. Melanie says playing the waiting game is unimaginable.

"It used to be that we could just forget about what's going on. Now, knowing, everyday is just harder and harder to get through because we don't know when it's going to happen," Melanie said.

The young couple is taking life one day at a time. They'll soon celebrate the second birthday of their daughter Addyson.

"It kills me knowing that she has the best dad in the world and she'll only know that because of what I tell her," Melanie said.

Melanie says the amount of support they've received from friends, family, and perfect strangers, has been incredible. She did this interview to say thank you, and to share what she's learned from a life they've helped her champion, a life that could be cut short.

"What people worry about every day is just so minimal. This teaches you to live life to the fullest... We want to take whatever memories with Addyson we can, so I can tell her about them later."

Friends and family members raised money for the Hasselmans at a motorcycle ride on Saturday (9/29). They say the money will help ease the family's financial and emotional burden, and pay remaining medical bills.


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