Health & Wellness

Wife of Fox News Contributor Joins NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees 2 Years After Heart Transplant

Yvonne Payne, center with long white shirt, is joined by her team at NJ Sharing Network's 4th Annual 5K that took place last June. Credits: NJ Sharing Network
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The NJ Sharing Network Foundation is welcoming Yvonne Payne of Teaneck to its Board of Trustees – two years after she received a life-saving heart transplant.
Payne eagerly looks for opportunities to honor the memory of child actress Sammi Kane Kraft, whose death in a 2012 California car crash meant a new heart and a new chance at life for Payne.
Payne lead a team at NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Walk and USATF-Certified Race on June 8, raising thousands of dollars for the life-saving mission. 
“I am touched by the entire NJ Sharing Network organization,” Payne said. “I definitely want to help out and ensure as many people as possible know the importance of registering for organ donation, especially in the black and Latino communities. I want to share my story with others and hope they can support this beautiful organization.”

Payne – wife of Fox Business Network contributor Charles Payne – is inspired by her heart donor, Sammi Kane Kraft. Kraft, whose real-life baseball skills landed her the starring role as a spunky pitching ace in the 2005 remake of “Bad News Bears,” died Oct. 9, 2012, at the age of 20.
Four days later, Payne underwent heart transplant surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Today, the lively 56-year-old Teaneck woman is determined to give back something tangible to other people in need – including her service to the Foundation.
Payne recalls an “active and athletic childhood,” but rheumatic fever at age 13 left her with a weak heart and prone to fatigue due to arrhythmia. “I learned to cope and tried to be as active as possible as a teenager and young adult,” she said. 
“My heart always seemed so noisy in my chest,” she recalled. In her mid-30s Payne was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, a potentially life-threatening rapid heartbeat that ultimately required her to get an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).
“Doctors told me I would eventually need a heart transplant. That was a frightening idea, so I kept telling myself and everyone else that I’d be just fine,” Payne said. By 2011, her condition worsened and her bouts of exhaustion became more frequent. 
Physicians at New York Presbyterian implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in July 2012 to provide temporary relief. “An LVAD is a bridge-to-a-transplant until a heart is available,” said Payne, noting that her recovery and potentially long wait for a donor brought on “fear and depression.”
A personal phone call from former Vice-President Dick Cheney helped lift Payne’s spirits. “It meant so much. Mr. Cheney had LVAD surgery too. He told me to have faith, stay strong and leave my depression behind,” said Payne, who had met Cheney once while visiting friends in Wyoming.
While the LVAD helped for a short while, her condition turned critical less than three months later when she developed a blood clot in the LVAD and doctors told her she needed an immediate heart transplant.
“I also needed a miracle,” Payne said. It came in an emotional phone call from Shelly and Lulu Kane Kraft – Sammi’s parents and friends of Payne’s husband, Charles. “They knew about my condition, kept me in their prayers and were calling to say they wanted their daughter’s passing to help me live,” she said.
Within 48 hours, the Paynes flew to Los Angeles and Yvonne underwent transplant surgery at Cedars Sinai. “The first thing I recall when I woke up after surgery was the quiet. It was the first time my heart was really ever silent,” she said. 
Directed organ donation, which Payne underwent, is not normal for emergency situations and is considered rare. Most people receive the gift of donation from an anonymous donor. For directed organ donation, blood types must be compatible between donors and intended recipients. 
Today, Payne is devoting time and energy to offer hope to others facing heart transplants and making a similar journey through her service with the NJ Sharing Network Foundation.
"Yvonne's enthusiasm and commitment is an inspiration to us all," said Elisse Glennon, executive director, NJ Sharing Network Foundation. "We are excited to be working with her. She is a dynamic person who will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. We are especially pleased about her commitment to outreach to minority communities and look forward to working closely with her in the coming months and years."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training

July 21, 2018

Caring Contact Volunteer Listener Training Fall 2018

Are you looking for a flexible, rewarding volunteer opportunity?

Have you ever been told you are a good listener?

Do you have a yearning to really make a difference?

Become a Caring and Crisis Hotline Listener.

You could save a life.

Volunteers receive 52 hours of comprehensive training in active listening, Mental Health ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Alignment Based Yoga

Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 21, 11:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence


Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...