BRENTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones Saturday plan on celebrating the life of a 21-year-old UCLA student who passed away while waiting for a lung transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Jessica Anne Fredrick, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, was once an active student, participating on a student dance club and planned to walk in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Great Strides Walk” June 7.
But on May 20 the communications major’s health started a rapid decline that led to her hospitalization.
In April, Fredrick began the process of finding a possible lung transplant and was added to a transplant list on May 23. Meanwhile, she participated in the “Bridge to Transplant” program at UCLA. Patients in the program, pioneered by Dr. Abbas Ardehali, are typically on life support equipment called ECMO that takes blood from the patient, oxygenates it and returns it to their body to extend their life while they await “new lungs.” Ardehali’s program includes keeping patients ambulatory even while on a ventilator, ECMO and IV medications.
Unfortunately, Fredrick passed away May 31, only a few days before her scheduled transplant evaluation appointment.
Friends and family will celebrate Fredrick’s life during a tribute at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Kerckhoff Hall, Grand Salon on the UCLA campus. A reception will follow at her sorority house, ADX, a Christian sorority she had been involved with since 2010.
She will also be honored at would have been her graduation ceremony during the Communications Studies Department commencement on June 15, at 10 a.m., in Royce Hall.