Community of Heart Transplant Recipient Gives Back

When Mike Bacher and his family stayed at the Howie's House after his heart transplant, his community wanted to do whatever they could to give back.

photo of large family in front of chimes
The whole Bacher family rings the Chimes of Hope

Mike Bacher and his wife Jo-Ann are from Lewis, Delaware and first came to the Howie’s House in January of 2022 to start the evaluation process for a heart transplant. Mike was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy 16 years ago, and lived a normal, healthy life until his health started to decline, and his doctors advised him to consider a transplant that could save his life.

They were thankful to have a safe and comforting accommodations during the process.

Heather, Mike’s daughter, said that when Mike and Jo-Ann first came to the House, “they said they knew it was the right place to stay”.

A few weeks later, Mike was listed for a heart transplant at Temple University Hospital, and after only 11 days of waiting, he received his precious gift of life. Jo-Ann stayed at the Howie’s House while he recovered and was able to have their two daughters, Heather and Melissa, as well as other family members take turns staying with her to offer support.

Heather hugging her father in the hospital after he received his transplant

“It’s been such a stressful, overwhelming experience but having somewhere to eat and sleep and rest is priceless,” says Heather. “My dad was also able to gain a sense of peace and comfort knowing that his family was safe while he was in the hospital.”

The Bacher’s family and friends asked how they could support them during their journey and they requested that all support be directed to the Howie’s House. A place that is helping them and others during the transplant journey. Sisters Heather and Melissa created a Facebook fundraiser where people could donate in Mike’s honor to benefit the House. The fundraiser ended up raising over $12,000!

The generosity didn’t stop there. When Jo-Ann’s employer, Jack Lingo Realtor, heard about Mike’s transplant, the company decided to hold a matching gift fundraiser with their employees and raised over $5,000, which makes the grand total of over $17,000 raised for the Howie’s House!

The entire Bacher Family including Melissa, Jo-ann, Mike and Heather (back row from left to right)

The Bacher Family say that they are grateful to the Howie’s House for all the services they received, and to Mike’s donor for giving him his precious gift of life. “My dad has someone else’s heart beating in his body. He gets to live longer and make more memories, there is no greater gift than something like that,” says Heather. 

Just a few days after Mike was discharge from the hospital, the entire Bacher Family visited the Howie’s House to celebrate Mike’s transplant and ring the Chimes of Hope, and even provided a home-cooked meal to the families to give back.

The Bacher Family in the Howie’s House kitchen after cooking dinner for our family

Click here to watch the family ring the Chimes of Hope!

News & Events

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email updates featuring transplant stories of hope and ways you can get involved with the Howie's House.

"*" indicates required fields