Just Breathe For Matt
Raising money for Matt Gulledge
Matt Gulledge has battled with a lung condition known as Primary Cillary Dyskenesia along with bronchiectasis for thirty-two years. It is a rare disease that mimics cystic fibrosis. Matt was forced to resign from his teaching job in Lake Village, AR four months ago due to his declining health. Matt also has an eleven year old son. Recently he was put on the waiting list for a double lung transplant at Baylor Medical in Dallas, Texas. When the transplant committee met and reviewed Matt's medical history they placed him in the "top priority" category, which means as soon as the organs come available he will have the operation. Matt's lung capacity is currently at 22%. We are raising money to help with his medical expenses and to help with his road to recovery after he has the transplant. He will spend 14 weeks in the hospital after the transplant
I would like to thank each and everyone of you guys that have been so kind to contribute to the "Just Breathe" cause. Your generous contributions will help greatly when it comes time for my transplant and during the long road of rehabilitation after the operation. With all my heart, I would like to thank you for your contributions, anyone who has purchased a "Just Breath" t-shirt or hoodie, and anyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. This means so very much to me and my family. We are going through a hard time right now but by the grace of God and through your continued prayers and support I feel like there is nothing that I can't overcome.
P.S. A special thanks to Kristaleen Gulledge for all her hard work on organizing the fundraiser and Jennifer Martin for her part in making the "Just Breathe" fundraiser possible. I love you girls!
Matt Gulledge, the 32 year old son of Curtis and Lisa Gulledge and father of 11 year old Tyce of Crossett, is listed with Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas awaiting a double lung transplant. Matt was born with a genetic disorder which acts much like cystic fibrosis. From the time he was 18 months old, he has had ear/sinus and lung infections which have led to over a dozen different surgeries. Doctors spent many years trying to diagnose his condition. All of the markers for cystic fibrosis were present, with the exception of the sweat/chloride test (which is the final and most conclusive test). With CF being negative, tests were run for immotile cilia dyskenesia. This disease is where the cilia fibers in your nasal passages and your lungs (which are suppose to move and push the cilia out) don't work or are compromised in one way or the other. Nasal swabs were taken during sinus surgeries and biopsy of lung wall was done during bronchioscope. On a few different occasions, these tissues were sent to LSU Medical School in Baton Rouge, LA and UAMS in Little Rock, AR. All of this testing proved worthless as none of the samples contained enough cilia to make a proper diagnosis. As a result of constant lung infections Matt developed Bronchiectasis. So for years, Matt symptoms have been treated as if he were a Cystic Fibrosis patient. Every year has proven to be a little harder with many hospital stays for pneumonia and other infections. In September of 2013, Matt's pulmonary doctor determined that he was in final stages of respiratory failure. Matt's lung functions (PFT's) were down to 22% on his good days. He was put on continual oxygen and his updraft treatments were increased. In October 2013 Matt went to Baylor University Hospital to be evaluated by the transplant team. Upon arrival for testing, Matt became critically ill. He was admitted to the hospital and treated for a couple of weeks. While he was a patient there, all testing was done to qualify him for the transplants. So now, the waiting game has started. Lungs are the most difficult organ to transplant because of their delicate tissue and other criteria that has to be met related to chest cavity size and shape.
Matt and his family would like to express our sincere appreciation to each of you who have lifted him in prayer, sent a card, cooked a meal, bought a t-shirt, made a donation or any other kind gesture you made on his behalf. T-shirts are being sold until the end of January. I also believe that future events to raise money are being planned. If anyone is interested, more information can be found by contacting Kristaleen Gulledge or the JustBreatheForMatt page on Facebook. This facebook page was created to raise awareness and to keep people informed on Matt's progress before, during and after the procedure.
We ask that you please continue to hold Matt up in your prayers as this will be a long scary journey for him and his family. Although we are saddened by the fact that someone else's tragedy will be our hope for life, such is the circle of life.
Most importantly, if you are not already signed up as an organ donor, please consider it. I encourage everyone who is able - donate blood, platelets, bone marrow or whatever can be done while you are living. You never know when someone you love may become the recipient of such gifts. We all pray that we never have to experience the unexpected tragic death of any of our loved ones. But what better way to keep a part of that loved one alive than by donating organs. There is no other way to describe an organ donation other than it is the ultimate GIFT OF LIFE!!