Help us help the Williams family

George Williams is my youngest child and Buff's stepson. At 33 he has a beautiful wife, Amber and an active four year old son, Ayden. They are an attractive, wholesome family living in Bloomington, IN.

Several years ago, during a doctor visit a heart murmur was detected in George. Since there is a family history of heart conditions, more testing was performed and it was discovered that he has hypertrophic cardio myopathy (HCM). This is the condition that frequently causes young athletes to have rapid uncontrolled heart rhythms and enlarged or thickened heart walls leading to sudden cardiac death. At that time his condition wasn't too severe.

Over time the condition has progressed and the septum wall inside the heart enlarged to the point that it was blocking the flow of blood through the heart and affecting the mitral valve possibly damaging it. Just before his 30th birthday, George received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to help regulate his heart arrhythmias to prevent sudden cardiac death.

With medication, the ICD and being monitored by the doctors, George was able to continue working to support his family.

There is no cure for this disease, just the hope that the ICD and medications are effective and progress of the thickening of the septum is slow.

This year the thickening of George's septum has rapidly increased to the point where it is eight times as thick as a normal septum. Blood flow is now severely obstructed causing him to suffer from blackouts. It appeared that surgical intervention was necessary to save his life. He had to stop working on September 24th. His doctor determined that Cleveland Clinic was the best choice for his surgery and he applied for their consideration.

The good news is his case is so serious that Cleveland Clinic accepted him as a priority patient. He will have pre-op testing on the October 22-24 and the surgery on the 25th. They will do a Septal Myectomy to remove the thickening, possibly repair/replace the mitral valve and fix anything else they see. The surgeon, Dr. Nicholas Smedira is a well respected expert in this surgery and we have confidence in him.

As with any open heart surgery of this extent, George and his family face overwhelming medical bills far exceeding what his insurance will pay. A good portion of what he will owe the hospital must be paid BEFORE they will operate. The family also faces travel costs and the loss of George's wages for a long recovery period.

We ask that you donate whatever you can to this cause -- no amount is too small.

Thank you for your generosity and for helping us help our son.

Buff & Deana Martino


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Deana Moore Martino 
Ft. Pierce, FL
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