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Carolyn's Heart of Gold

Organized by: Dina Gullickson

Dina's Photo
Dina's Photo
Dina's Photo
Dina's Photo


Hello family, friends, and kind-hearted acquaintances. We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our story and allowing us to tell you about one of the strongest, most wonderful woman we know.

Her name is Carolyn Lago, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother too!  She is cherished by all she comes in contact with. She is truly the rock and matriarch of our family and we feel very blessed to call her our own. She brings light, laughter, comfort, and an uncompromisable joy into all of our lives. Lover of all things baby monkey related, defender of the belief that you should always have a tender hand (or ham if we are talking food, hers is the best!), and humorous storyteller of misconstrued words that makes your face hurt from laughing.

These are only a few of the reasons why we can not imagine a life without her grace and are fighting to fix the damage that has been done to her heart as a result of her ongoing battle with heart disease.

She is in need of major surgery for a double heart valve replacement, a bypass for two blocked arteries and an ablation for atrial fibrillation. She has previously had a quadruple bypass and is considered a high-risk patient.

After learning the news that she would need surgery to repair her heart, our superhero was referred to a local surgeon who agreed to take on this high-risk procedure, however, after 6 months of waiting for the surgery, multiple gastrointestinal complications and a multitude of medical procedures, he concluded that the facility nor himself will be adequately equipped to perform without serious complication.

This was a tough pill to swallow but being the fighter that she is, she persevered. " I'm not giving up yet! I have places to go and people to see!" she told us. This is the Carolyn we know and love.

Though her eyes are as blue as the sea is deep, there is a momentous red fire that burns behind them. A fire for family, for her love of others, and a true passion for life. Her fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all and we feel determined to help her gain a second lease on life. We would like to insure she receives one but we need your generous help, and would kindly ask for it now.

It has been an uphill battle but each time we remained hopeful that we would find the solution for what ails her. With faith, trust and a little pixie dust, we have found that solution at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.

We recently stayed the week in Minnesota meeting with the valvular and vascular team and a myriad of talented surgeons as they ran a multitude of tests to determine what approach would suit her best. They decided on a new hybrid procedure and assured us of the plan they set in place.

After months of waiting, our prayers have been answered and we have a date for surgery!  You can imagine how ecstatic we all are, many joyful tears have been shed. 

They are truly Angels at Mayo! It was amazing to see how organized they are and how loving and caring they have been to our Mumsy. We have faith that she is in good hands and are grateful to have found them.

Together for over 50 years, she means the world to our father, who also has had multiple open hearts and procedures over the years himself. They have always been hard workers and great providers, setting shining examples of kindness and generosity for our family. If they had a dollar to their name they would give 99 cents. That is just the type of people they are and have always been.

I'm sure, many can sympathize with the rising costs of healthcare that accumulate due to ongoing medical conditions, just by stepping in the door at a facility, not to mention a specialist running multiple extensive monthly tests.  

They are loving parents, our children's cherished grandparents, and their great grandchildren's hearts of gold. Their hearts may be dysfunctioning mechanically but they are still filled with never ending love. They have given so much of themselves to us and to others and are humble people that would never ask for any kind of help themselves. So, armed with good intentions and without their knowledge, we set up this page to see if we could all work together to help them. 

We hope you can find it in your heart to consider donating any amount you are able to help us take some of this financial burden off of their shoulders and allow them to focus on Carolyn's recovery. 

Our family thanks you again for taking the time to read our story. Carolyn has a lot left to give in this life and we will be forever grateful for every beat her heart of gold has to give as well.


Although we feel she is as strong as they come, we think it's beneficial to keep her optimism high while she awaits surgery during this journey to health, so as a little boost we started something for her called "Nan's Happy Jar of Hope."

She does not know of this yet but it is a compilation of happy memories we have with her, things were looking forward to doing with her in the future and inspirational phrases or memories. If you could take the time to drop her a simple sentence of your favorite memory with her, a funny memory or mention a way in which she has helped or been there for you or your family it sure would mean a whole lot to her and to us. She is on facebook! After all, she is a quite a hip granny! ;)  

Love and gratitude from our family to yours.


"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  - JEREMIAH 29:11


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Dina Gullickson

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