Zack's Medical Fund
We are asking for $20,000 to allow Zack Carson to continue to live independently and to assist with his urgent medical needs.
Zack is a 29 year old young man who is one of the bravest people we know, fighting daily for nearly three decades to live his life to the fullest. His dream at this point as a young adult is to live on his own, to remain independent, and to continue his work as much as possible.
We believe he can do this, with a little help from his friends and this online community.
Zack was born with multiple, massive heart defects. The primary defect is Single Left Ventricle (SLV). When Zack was born, in 1987, more than 90% of the babies born with this defect died before the age of five.
And so began the battle to keep Zack alive.
Zack’s first open-heart surgery was when he was 5 weeks old, the second at 14 months. Over the years he has had countless procedures, two cardiac arrests, a stroke and a pacemaker. His cardiac condition is not correctable with surgery or medication and his heart will continue to deteriorate with time, as will other organs such as his liver and gastric system.
Over time Zack has lost the ability to do many of the things he wants to do in life.
As a child he wanted to ride a bike with his friends, but became winded so quickly he couldn’t keep up.
As a boy Zack loved to play baseball, a sport that required little stamina. As he got older, even playing baseball became too much. We lived close to the local baseball field and there were many evenings when we would drive by and could see and hear the children playing. It was heartbreaking…
There was even a brief moment when he thought he could wrestle in middle-school, then needed an emergency pacemaker, after which he was never allowed to wrestle again.
As a young man Zack enjoys the outdoors and camping but is no longer able to hike with his family and peers.
Despite all of this, Zack has worked tirelessly and has never given up, even when he received the additional diagnosis of Fontan Associated Liver Disease in August of 2012 and had to take two months leave from his graduate studies. Still, he carried on. In August of 2016, against all odds, Zack received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from The Ohio State University. Then, beyond his wildest dreams, he was chosen for the position of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto!
Zack moved to Canada in September of 2016. A few months later he began experiencing increasing symptoms of fatigue and slowly lowering oxygen saturation rates. During a routine cardiology visit, swelling in his abdomen was noted.
On March 17th, 2017, Zack received a heart catheterization in Toronto that showed that his heart function has deteriorated and that the additional damage is not treatable. Zack will need to find a way to live with these symptoms.
In addition to all this, Zack started bleeding internally from the procedure and also developed a pseudo-aneurysm. All of this landed him in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. This will now require a lengthy recovery. Zack has survived yet another assault to his system and is recovering.
The goal of this request is to keep Zack as independent as possible, as long as possible. With this latest setback, the need for home assistance has increased dramatically.
For a fee, Zack now has a Lifeline system that allows him to press a button from a lanyard around his neck to call an ambulance, this system also recognizes when he has fallen and is unable to respond and will call an ambulance.
For a fee, Zack has a medic alert bracelet that allows first responders to access pertinent medical information in seconds.
For a fee, Zack has a home visitor to assist with daily life so Zack can continue his work.
For a fee, a grocery delivery system has been set up as Zack is no longer able to get to the store on his own for his groceries.
In addition, Zack has used up all of his medical leave and is facing time off from work without pay during this latest recuperation period. Several family members have used up their paid leave and have payed to travel to help him regardless of the cost.
All of this support is necessary to keep Zack independent, but it is expensive. The bills are piling up and his need for care will be ongoing. His heart will continue to deteriorate, increasing intervention will be necessary.
So many people, so many times, have offered assistance. We have always thanked them and promised to let them know when. In speaking with Zack, we have decided it is “when”.
We ask that you help to fulfill Zack’s dream of being able to continue in his professional life and to live on his own as long as possible. With the support listed above, he can continue in his dream to live as fully as possible.
Thank you each and every one of you for your care, concern and support. Most of all, thank you for being part of the miracle that is the story of Zack!
We owe a debt of gratitude to all the doctors, nurses and support staff at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University Medical Center and Toronto General Hospital Munk Heart Center. It has truly taken a village to support Zack and his family, so we also owe a debt of gratitude to the many friends who made it possible for us to support Zack through all of this.
Any funds in excess of the requested amount will be used to fund his ongoing care beyond this latest setback.
On Friday Zack saw his vascular surgeon. The injuries that occurred during his heart cath are healing, he will not need surgery!!
While he still cannot return to work, this is truly good news from this latest setback.
That has never been more true than now. Through the generosity of so many kind souls we are already more than half way to our goal!! Words cannot express our deep gratitude. Thank you one and all,
Zack and his family