A Lung Transplant Journey

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.        Gary Earle, a native San Diegan and SDSU basketball team alumni, was diagnosed with severe Hypersensitivity Pnuemonitis which doctors discovered was the result of long term mold inhalation at his home. Prior to falling deathly ill, Gary enjoyed working, playing golf with his son, Taylor, and friends. He led a Links bible study with dear friends he affectionatly calls, The Bible Boys. He and Debra have been married for 18 years. They met in high school but were reunited at her father's funeral. A long friendship ensued, and five years later, they married. Blending a family of 2 son's and a daughter. Gary's oldest son, Mike and his beautiful wife, Michelle, have made him a grandfather, blessed with 2 and another on the way. His son Taylor just married his beautiful wife and best friend, Kelsey, on Valentine's Day. Amidst all these blessings, Gary became so disabled that he's been unable to work for over a year. His lungs were so scarred, that he struggled to do anything. Upon the discovery that mold in the home was the cause of his severe interstitial lung disease, we immediately moved into a hotel so he could qualify for a lung transplant. We lived in a hotel for over a month while looking for a clean place to move to but unfortunately caught both the norovirus and Influenza A while there. Gary and Debra spent their 18th wedding anniversary in the hospital while Gary was receiving treatment. We were fortunate to find a small place near UCSD transplant Center after an exhausting search for a place without carpeting on the first floor as prescribed by his doctors. It is ideal because Gary could hook up to his life support oxygenator and still move around the little home. Walking from room to room in the new home was quickly more than his body could bear even on 10 liters of oxygen. His extreme allergy to mold made it impossible for us to keep most of our belongings. Most everything we owned has high levels of mold dust or is actively growing mold on its surface. He refused to give up his study bible though.... We just moved most everything into a large storage unit until the damage could be calculated by professionals as we have been in crisis mode. After extensive testing in January and February to eliminate other underlying unknown disease, Gary was listed on the national transplant registry on 2/15/18. Not surprisingly, the doctors found a mold ball in his lungs during review of his lung scans and he was put on fungal medication. While waiting for a transplant, he continued to decline and even on oxygen, could not get enough air to his body. The Easter miracle occurred, and on Sunday, Gary received word that there was a double lung transplant match. On Monday, Gary went into an 8 hour surgery and received new lungs. He's in ICU now recovering. Two days later, we received the shocking news that the old lungs which had a large fungal ball, also had developed cancer under the fungus. They have decided not to give him chemo at this time because of the threat of damage to his new lungs. When Gary is released from the hospital, his wife will need to be by his side for 90 days as Gary cannot be left alone. The biggest threats are infection or organ rejection. He's on many medications that will be out of pocket expenses once he reaches Medicare age soon. His doctor said that transplant expenses generally forces his patients into bankruptcy. Gary has exhausted his retirement accounts and credit cards paying for his out of pocket medical care and expenses from the losses from the mold. Gary has been referred to an Environmental doctor at Scripps Integrative Health to assess his mold toxicity load and start detoxification. His office told us that insurance does not cover most of his treatment so we are asking for donations for his past and future medical expenses. We'll update you as his prognosis becomes more clear following testing. His family has set up this page for friends and family to share. Thank you for your generosity towards Gary and his family and his ongoing medical expenses. We thank you with Love and gratitude. Gary and Debra


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Gary Earle 
San Diego, CA
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