We write with heavy hearts today. It is with incredible sadness and shock that we share the news that Jodie—a beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, colleague and the strongest person we know—passed away on Wednesday, due to complications arising from heart transplant rejection.
This is an unexpected and devastating loss for all of us. We grieve with you.
A memorial service will be held the morning of Saturday, August 20 in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, the family is designating a beneficiary for donations. Final details on the memorial service and donations will be shared soon. A remote (online) viewing option will be available for the service.
For those following along on this blog, she did not have Covid; two PCR lab tests confirmed this. She was readmitted to the hospital on Tuesday under close monitoring and suffered a sudden cardiac arrest that night. The medical team was with her and immediately did everything they could to bring her back to us, but her heart was too weak due to the transplant rejection.
All who were fortunate enough to know Jodie have been forever changed for the better. Throughout her life, she was not defined solely by her heart disease—she was a brilliant scholar, a swing dancer, a compassionate therapist, an artistic quiltmaker, an advocate for young adults with chronic illness, a heart health hero recognized nationally at the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards. She always set her goals high and her dreams even higher. She achieved so many of those dreams and all of us got to bask in the glow of her achievements, and her boundless energy and light.
In recent years she helped hundreds of people, young adults and their families and communities, dedicating her adult life to helping children with chronic illness live fulfilling and meaningful lives. To teaching them that they can pursue all of their dreams, in spite of the challenges of their health conditions. To not be defined solely by their illnesses. She was a role model to innumerable patients, colleagues, and friends. Her impactful and meaningful work was recognized across the country and served as a model for other organizations assisting young adults with chronic illness. Her lasting impact will be felt in the coming years and decades as these young people go out and make the world a better place.
Jodie would want us to do the same.
Peter and the Neukirch Elliott family