Erika Zak Biography
Erika Zak 39 Years old mother who inspired millions through her resilience to fight for a liver transplant, died early Friday during surgery, her husband, Scott Powers, told to CNN.
Her death came after a liver became available Thursday afternoon, and her transplant team at the Cleveland Clinic hustled to prepare her for surgery, Powers said.
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Late yesterday afternoon, Erika got THE call. The one she had been waiting for for the last 15 months. Cleveland Clinic had a liver and it was hers. • The picture above is when she was saying “see you later” to Loie. Everyone was so hopeful and excited. • Her body was just too weak to endure the surgery. Erika passed away around 2am EST on August 23. • We can’t describe how very devastated we all are. This was her chance to have the normal life she wanted. This was her chance to be the mother she always wanted to be. But for some reason, it wasn’t in the cards. • Our hearts are so broken but we find peace that she left this world feeling hopeful and she is not in pain anymore. • Erika, give Daddy a hug for me. I’ll keep Scott and Loie close and make sure she knows her mommy and how much she loved her. • To all everyone who supported us over the past 5 years and especially the past few weeks, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. • In Erika’s memory, we ask people to sign up to be an organ donor at organdonor.gov or donate to the Erika Zak Memorial Fund (link in bio)
The news of the available liver buoyed Erika’s spirits and spread excitement among her surgical team and family after waiting more than a year for this moment, he said. Before going into surgery, he said, Erika was able to spend time with the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Loïe.
Comment from American Liver Foundation
Erika Zak Siblings
Her twin sister, Jenna Zak, shared some of Zak’s struggles on her own Instagram page, often lambasting the organ donor system in America.
In an Instagram where she tagged UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, Zak showed a picture of her sister in the hospital. This was prior to the news that Zak would be getting transplant surgery.
Zak’s battle against both United Health Care and UNOS was lengthy. First, she was denied coverage for a liver transplant by her health care company; after making an emotional appeal to them last year, she was finally approved.
In 2014, the twin sisters got matching tattoos. “We might be the most “untwinlike” twins ever but least we agree on our tattoos,” Jenna wrote.
As for what the tattoos said?
Erika Zak and Scott Powers
Erika Zak Husband, Married
She was married to Scott Powers. They tied the knot on Halloween in 2009.
Erika Zak Husband & Children
Erika Zak Social Media Posts
And I still wait. Time is running out. Forever grateful to @TheDrashman for tellling my story: https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/05/13/health/liver-transplant-mom-erika-zak/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F …
Erika Zak Liver Failure
No matter what was thrown at them — their bond grew stronger. “Liver failure is the worst thing ever,” she said.
Erika Zak Colorectal Cancer
A cancer survivor, Erika Zak said the liver disease was excruciating: “Liver failure is the worst thing ever.”
Erika Zak GoFubdMe Page
The family has set up a GoFundMe page, $5,994 raised of $50,000 goal for her funeral and other expenses. They have asked for privacy during this time to grieve.
Esther Choo, MD MPH
Beyond painful to learn that PDXer Erika Zak died in surgery today. I’m so sorry, @ErikaZak1. You were astonishingly brave and outspoken about your fight, and so many of us were pulling hard for you to get to that lagoon and waterfall https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/23/health/erika-zak-liver-transplant-obituary/index.html …
Erika Zak, mom who inspired millions in her fight to get a liver, dies at 39
Erika Zak, the mother who inspired millions through her resilience to fight for a liver transplant, died early Friday during surgery, her husband, Scott Powers, told CNN. She was 39.
The GoFundMe for her daughter, Loie, is here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/erika-zak-memorial?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet …
Please please please sign up to be an organ donor here: http://organdonor.gov . It matters.
Erika Zak Memorial
While our family is devastated by the loss of our beautiful wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, we do want to express our deepest gratitude to all of those who have supported Erika and our…
‘Erika’s Army’ Inspired Her
In a phone conversation, her husband fought back tears.
“It’s beyond devastating,” Powers said. “She loved Loïe more than anything, she fought desperately to be with her. It’s just excruciating that she didn’t get to spend a day or weeks or years healthy with Loïe.”
He said the family was “forever grateful” for the outpouring of love Erika received — that she drew inspiration from “Erika’s Army,” the social media warriors who took up her cause and spread her story far and wide. She maintained her sense of humor and zeal for life to the end.