James Maxwell Medical Fund

My husband is in the hospital with a deadly strain of the flu H1N1. That is right...the flu has him fighting for his life. He was the sole income for our family, and after he beat cancer we no longer have life insurance or short/long term disability. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. At this point, we have exhausted our funds just traveling back and forth to the hospital.

This is part of an interview given to our local news station on the Flu outbreak in AZ.

Gayle Maxwell's husband James arrived at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital last week suffering from the flu and pnuemonia.

"We are trying to save his life, it's at that point," she said.

James Maxwell was on a ventilator before being put on the ECMO.

"We don't know, we don't know minute to minute and it's all basically up to his body whether he is going to pull through this or not," she adds.

James Maxwell is hooked up to the machine every minute of the day. It takes his blood out, provides oxygen and it goes right back in, directly into his heart.

Dr. Robert Raschke is a lead physician regarding the flu outbreak at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.

"In the last month, we have had eight people on ECMO for the flu," says Dr. Raschke. "We've never seen anything like that before."

Like Good Samaritan, other Valley hospitals are at or near capacity for the ECMO machine. Hospitals are communicating about available machines and CBS 5 News has learned of at least one flu patient who was moved from Flagstaff to Tucson to get on ECMO.

"We are hoping to not have our capacity reached, and we are hoping that people go out and get vaccinated and it won't come to that; that would be the best solution for this," said Dr. Raschke.

In James Maxwell's case, he did not get a flu shot and that is something his wife says could have made a world of difference.

"It's a $30 shot as opposed to hundreds of thousand of dollars to try to save your life, that is basically what we are at now," says Gayle.

There are 15 to 20 ECMO machines in the Valley. As of today, most are being used.

Machines at Phoenix Children's Hospital could be used for adult patients if needed.

Patients are usually on the machines for two to four weeks and usually require more hospital time to continue to recover.

As you can see, there is a long road ahead of my husband. I humbly ask for any donation that you can afford. Even the smallest amount will help and be greatly appreciated more than you can imagine.
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Gayle Gardner Maxwell 
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