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Mike's Road to a Heart Transplant!
$3,845 raised
64% of $6k goal
54 contributors
0 days left
Ended May 9, 2013
At the age of 31, and with three young children at home, Mike needs a heart transplant! On the morning of January 24, 2013, Mike was taken to the emergency room because he was having trouble breathing. He had come down with the influenza just before ...
At the age of 31, and with threee young children at home, Mike needs an unexpected heart transplant! On the morning of January 24, 2013, Mike was taken to the emergency room because he was having trouble breathing. He had come down with the influenza just before the holidays and it never seemed to go away. Given that we do not have health insurance, and we can’t really afford sick days, Mike worked beyond exhaustion to still bring home a paycheck. The illness then turned into pneumonia, and his body was just not able to fight it off. When his boss insisted that he go get checked out to make sure he would be okay, he reluctantly agreed and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. They started him on medications as his heart was racing and his blood pressure was high and he still was unable to breathe. They ran several tests and determined that not only did he have severe bilateral pneumonia, but his heart was only working at 15%. He was transferred him to ICU and he ended up on life support for eight days. He spent eight days in a coma, with several unsuccessful attempts to pull him out during that time. While in ICU, he also suffered an occipital stroke and was having continuous complications with his heart and at several points they were pretty uncertain if he was going to make it out alive.
Once they were finally able to pull Mike out of the coma, they were able to run several tests, including a double heart catheterization, and determined that he is a great candidate for a heart transplant. There has been slight positive improvement in the past couple of weeks, which has made it so that he is no longer considered an emergency case, but now has to go through numerous weekly follow up appointments and such to be able to get on the transplant list. So in the meantime, our days are filled with doctor’s appointments, meetings, and home visits. He is wearing a shock vest that monitors his heart 24/7 and makes sure that he remains stable given that he is at great risk for sudden cardiac arrest. The vest will shock him if his heart goes out of rhythm.
Meanwhile, I (Tina, his wife) am on an unpaid leave of absence from work to be able to drive him to all of these appointments and keep an eye on him. Mike is no longer able to work (maybe never again), no driving, or exert himself in any strenuous way, and is on a very strict diet and fluid restriction. With both of us not working, the everyday bills keep rolling in, as well as traveling expenses to appointments each week. We have applied to DHS, applied for Social Security, and have visited local food banks and checked for local resources, which at this time of year are not very plentiful unfortunately as so many people are in need.
Mike and I have been in love and best friends for 12 years. Of those 12 years, we have been married seven and have created three beautiful and completely amazing kids…Tristan 5 , Piper 3, and Griffin 7 months. We both have always worked hard to provide for our family, but like many Americans, have always lived paycheck to paycheck just to get by. He was a marine mechanic and I work with at-risk juveniles addicted to drugs and alcohol. We recycle, we vote, we volunteer, in essence we were happy and living normal lives until January 24, 2013.
Once he is approved for the transplant list and finds a donor heart, he will then be having surgery at a hospital four hours from our home. His recovery at that facility is projected at 3-6 months. The funds we are raising will help to cover lost wages and traveling expenses for me while I commute back and forth and try to raise our kids and be supportive for Mike
We are extremely grateful for of every ounce of effort that goes into helping us no matter what capacity it may be! Anything that anyone is able to do to help us is tremendously appreciated and will never be forgotten. We are now a struggling family of five and the long road to the transplant and recovery back to a normal life is only at beginning stages. Thank you for taking the time to read our story and have a blessed day!
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