Choosing Hope

Sarah Granados, 36, is a loving wife and a stay-at-home mom. She was 25 years old when she first got sick. Over the years, her condition snowballed. Diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder, Sarah’s body could no longer digest food.

After spending six years on a feeding tube, Sarah underwent a surgery that was supposed to be a cure. But the surgery was not successful, and it actually caused her to go into intestinal failure. Doctors told Sarah and her husband Gabe that unless she had a multi-organ transplant, she would not survive.

At that point, Sarah had been sick for years and she was tired of hospitals. She knew that a transplant was a huge undertaking and that she would need a “one-in-a-million” perfect match. Sarah thought about going into hospice care. As a believer in Christ, she knew her eternal destiny. But ultimately, she chose life. “I chose hope,” Sarah said. “I chose faith…Heaven would be so easy, but I didn’t want to choose easy. I chose to be here with my family.”

It was November 14, 2021, after more than a year on the transplant list, when Sarah finally got the call she had been waiting for. An ambulance rushed her from a hospital near her home in North Carolina to the airport where a Life Flight Network jet was waiting to rush her to Indianapolis for the life-changing surgery.

“Someone gave me a gift,” Sarah said. “Without that gift, we would not be talking right now. It gave my kids their mom back. It gave my husband back his wife. It gave me the chance to dream about things I haven’t dreamt about in years because I was too scared to.”

Sarah and husband Gabe find refuge from their storm at Fair Haven.
Sarah and husband Gabe find refuge from their storm at Fair Haven.

But things have been anything but easy. Following her transplant, Sarah spent more than three grueling months in the hospital, fighting for her life. “It has been a hard and painful recovery,” she said. “I am taking 33 prescription medications. I take meds every two hours and probably will for the rest of my life. Many days, I feel worse than I did before the transplant.”

But there are so many things that Sarah is grateful for. Simple things. “We had our first official family meal,” Sarah shared. “My oldest daughter could hardly eat her food because she was crying. She couldn’t believe that we were having a family dinner.”

Sarah and Gabe are also grateful for Fair Haven, where their family spent 131 nights, first at Ada’s Place and then at an apartment. “The stress it took away was enormous,” Gabe described. “I was literally getting eaten up inside trying to figure out where I was going to put the kids, how was I going to get to Sarah? Having to update people and figure out work, I was consumed with stress. I was a ball of emotions. I was broken.”

Sarah remembers her mom telling her that Gabe and the kids had a place to stay at Fair Haven. “She said that I would not believe the ‘cement bricks’ that have been lifted off of Gabe’s shoulders.” Staying at Fair Haven made it possible for Gabe to be at his wife’s side during what Sarah describes as, “Literally the hardest three months of my life. I mean this when I say it, I don’t think I’d be alive if Gabe had not been with me.”

But Fair Haven wasn’t just a refuge for Gabe and their kids. It was also the place where Sarah recovered after she was finally released from the hospital. “When Gabe brought me here from the hospital, I literally started sobbing. I told him, ‘This is our home.’”

Though Sarah continues to face many challenges, her faith remains strong. “Our faith has carried my family to this point,” Sarah shared. It’s faith that makes the hard parts doable. That faith is what makes me want to live as best I humanly can.”

Through your support, Fair Haven provides the blessing of a home-away-from-home for families battling a serious illness. Bring hope to families like Sarah’s today with your gift of support.