Veterans Wife Liver Transplant Fund
11/20/201: Full MRI done, on 12/7/2017 Arterial Blood work, Stress Test, pulmonary Testing, Chest XRay and EKG done. On 12/11/2017 the Doctors Nurse called and said that the Doctor wanted Cindy to go back in the Medical Center Heart Lab for a Heart Cath due to something seen in the MRI but would not specify want it was. Cindy is scheduled for the Heart Cath on 12/20/2017 and will post results as I can. All this has to be done prior to any Transplant in order to make sure Cindy is physically capable of under going the procedure.
10/24/2017: Took Cindy in to see her Doctor today to follow up on the Esophagogastroduodenoscopy that was previously done. The results are not good. Varicies have formed in the Stomach at the end of the Esophagous in a position that requires the scope to be turned into a J shape to see them. This is not good as it makes doing a Banding procedure almost impossible if they every start bleeding. The Doctor has told Cindy that she wants to go ahead and arrange for Cindy to Visit the Liver Group at the University of Alabama Birmingham and with the Physicians at the University of South Alabama to prepare for and test to see if she is a Candidate for a Liver Transplant. If Cindy is determined by the Physicians at these two Facilities to be a Candidate (able to handle the operation) then the Doctor will get Cindy Scheduled for a Liver Transplant as soon as possible. This will require some time to do as they do extensive testing and evaluations before they will comit to such a serious Operation. Cindys G.I. Doctor has said by doing this now, before another bleed happens it may well save her life as another bleed from the new varicies in the Stomach may not be abled to get them stopped in time before she would bleed out. So this is where we stand as of today. Don't know what Life has in store for my Wife and if she will survive this much longer so asking for Prayers first and foremost. There is so much I want to say but finding words right now is rather difficult. For those who read this, Hug your loved ones everyday for you never know what tomorrow may bring. TonyB aka @tbonpc
My name is Cindy Bertram and I am asking for your help to save my life. On September 2, 2016 I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver due to Hepatitis C with the Genotype of 2b after having an episode of throwing up and Passing Blood sometime during the night or early morning. You see, from what my Husband told me, I had a fever and wasn't really aware of what was going on at the time, it was like I was in a bad dream but as it turned out, it was no dream at all. Once my Husband got me to the ER at our local Hospital, there was no waiting to be seen by a Physician, I was throwing up Blood all over the ER and they rushed me in and started working on me. Luckily for me my Husband who is a Marine Corps Veteran was allowed to stay with me during the whole process of the ER and from what he told me and from my Medical Records, Once the gastroenterologist Doctor got to the ER, he immediately took me into the operating room where he performed both an upper GI and lower GI to find the cause of the bleeding. The Doctor told my Husband that I had Esophageal Varices, Esophageal Ulcers and Ulcers in the duodenum. I almost bleed out. Blood test were done and an ultrasound scan was done to find the cause of the bleeding. The ultrasound showed cirrhosis of the liver and when the blood test were completed the Doctor says that I have Hepatitis C with the Genotype 2. A day after the first GI procedure was done, I started throwing up blood again and was taken back to the OR and another procedure to Band more Esophageal Varices that developed. Was doing well for the next day and a half and was moved from SICU to a room. Well that didn't last long as they were bringing me my Supper and the Physician’s Assistant was checking my vitals, I started throwing up blood again so back to the OR for a third procedure. Some 13 Units of Blood and 5 Units of Platelets and 3 procedures to Band the Esophageal Varices and a lot of medicines to control my blood pressure, coat the stomach lining and control the stomach acids, I was doing better. After 13 days in the Hospital the Doctor did his final Exam of me and said I could go home. With a Boat Load of Medicines to control what the Liver normally does and all the other medicines to control everything else. I was discharged from the Hospital on September 13th and was really enjoying being back home with my Family. On September 15th 2016, it all started over again when I began to pass and throw up Blood. This time I was taken to the Mobile Infirmary Hospital in Mobile Alabama and underwent a Fourth GI procedure and 3 more units of blood and platelets. The GI Doctor told me that at the time he did this fourth procedure that the bleeding had stopped so he was thinking it may have been the Ulcers that were bleeding this time. I was discharged from the Hospital on September 18th and so far have maintained with no further bleeding.
10 February 2017 is another event caused from my illness. Hepatic encephalopathy
I do not even remember waking up on the morning of the event. It is a deterioration of brain function that is a serious complication of liver disease. In this condition, the liver is not removing toxins from the blood. This results in a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream that can cause brain damage. The toxins in this event was high levels of ammonia in the blood. My husband said it was like a whole different person waking up and doing things he had never seen before. I will not go into those so just think of a person who lost all control over what they do and say and that was me. Scary thing is the Doctor says this can happen over and over even if the hepatitis is cured because there is so much of the Liver that is damaged. 3 days in the hospital this time but no blood loss. More medicines to remove the ammonia from the blood and help keep me my wits, I hope and pray.
Thank you Jesus. I know this isn't over by a long shot, the Doctor at the Mobile Infirmary had told my Husband that once the Liver has this much damage and until the Hepatitis Virus is gone, this will happen again. My Husband is doing everything he can to get me the care and medicines I need but he was retired and is now back out looking for a job as we have spent almost all of our retirement savings paying the bills that this has made. This is why I am asking for Help from you, I have been a housewife for almost my entire life and now that my husband retired, it will be hard for him to provide all I need to live. It is not fair to him and I do feel bad that this has happened but I thought I had taken care of myself, I have never did intervenes drug use, which is one way the virus is spread and I have never been a drinker so I know the virus didn't come from either of these. I supported my husband and helped other military wives during those long deployments while my husband was in the Marines, setting up events for the wives and children at the bases we were stationed at. No, Military Wives does not qualify for any VA benefits. I did volunteer as a Sitter for Alzheimer's Patients and have Volunteered to sit with the sick and elderly but not really sure how I got the Hepatitis C virus and may never know but what I do know is I need help. Please contribute whatever you can afford to help me recover from this life threatened illness.
This campaign is on both https://www.youcaring.com/cindy-bertram-644636 OR https://www.gofundme.com/MedicalforCindy and either funding site is active. , Donations by mail are also accepted and appreciated. Checks can be made payable to Tony Bertram or Cindy Bertram and in the “for” section on the check write: Medical Fund
22761 Palmer St
Robertsdale, Alabama 36567
thank you in Advance and may God Bless you for your kindness
On 11/14/2017 we went to the appointment and Dr Henderson had already recieved all of Cindy's Medical Records and reviewed everything before we arrived. To say he was prepared would not do him justice. This Doctor came to USA Medical Center from the UAB at Birmingham Liver Transplant Facility and knows his stuff. After doing an exam of Cindy he immediately scheduled her pre-Liver Transplant testing at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Dr henderson had recently setup the Liver program at USA to provide the same services that use to require patients to travel to Birmingham Al to do.