Help Get Me Singing Again!



I am a singer by trade and training. It's been a tough year. In early January 2017 I was scheduled to finally have a major repair done to my left ankle. The anesthesiologist did not like my EKG and ordered a cardiac clearance. It was not given. My cardiologist said that I had a 10% chance of dying on the table. In terms of cardiac surgery, those are horrible odds. Within a few weeks I had undergone a nuclear stress test and a cardiac catheterization. I failed the stress test...big time. The angiogram showed that I had three major blockages in the worst possible location. One was 100% blocked, and the other two were 80 to 90% blocked. Thank God, my heart was actually growing its own arterial bypass on the outside of my heart. That's what kept me alive for so long. The only thing left to do was a triple bypass which occurred on February 7th. Followed by 8 days in the hospital and 10 days in a cardiac rehab hospital. Soon to follow was 6 weeks of outpatient cardiac rehab. It was tough work but it paid off. I was determined to get in shape so that I would be ahead of the curve when it came to rebuilding my ankle. To back up a little bit, my ankle damage was the result of a nerve and bone disorder called Charcot. It’s basically when your nervous system forgets to tell your bones and connective tissue to regenerate. I fought that disease for about 3 years, and prevailed. But the damage was done. I ended up with an enormous amount of damage to my left ankle. My heel was dislocated to the outside. I had a broken bone in my ankle itself. And my tibia, which is the bone on the inside of your calf, had come off of its rightful place on the ankle, and was riding to the right inside of the ankle. I essentially was walking on my tibia. My surgeon told me that if I had good feeling in my feet, that I would want someone to put a bullet in my head to relieve me of the pain. Because this kind of damage would be excruciating to anyone else. A little fast forward. Once I graduated from cardiac rehab, I was put back on the surgeon's schedule for my ankle rebuild. August 23rd was the date. I was both looking forward to it and dreading it. Not the surgery so much. But the recuperation. It was going to require me to put zero weight bearing on that foot. It was going to require me to keep it elevated above my heart for several weeks. It was going to require me to keep it elevated above my waist. I had to lay in a hospital bed in my living room for about 12 weeks. Any physical therapist will tell you that lying in bed for a week will make you lose muscle tone and create weakness. I was going to lay in bed for 3 months! My muscles atrophied to the point of having to learn how to walk all over again. In the process, I wasn’t cleared to put any weight on the ankle until November 13th. I did as much home physical therapy and occupational therapy as I could. I am now in my second week of outpatient Physical Therapy. I have to say it is kicking my butt. But I know that the outcome will be worth it. Here’s where I need your help. While we have insurance through my wife’s job, we have been left with over $15,000 in unfunded medical bills. Back in the day, when I was working, I would just work a little harder to pay the bills. That is my nature. Unfortunately, age and various illnesses have put me on permanent disability. Just my copay for physical therapy is going to run me $300 per month! I don't know how much time it will take for me to get my strength back. But it could be as long as 4 to 6 months. The wolves are knocking on the door. My goal is to raise at least $15,000 to help to keep them at bay.
  • Mike Flesher 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Marc & Jane Bunnell Embree 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Janet Lawrence 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Celeste Niehaus  
    • $30 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer

JAMES JOHNSON 
Organizer
Rockford, IL
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