Friend, father, husband, teacher, master musician and long-time drummer for the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, Yao Dinizulu, recently experienced what every touring musician dreads...a major medical emergency while on tour overseas.
Several years ago, Yao experienced a stroke due to his ongoing battle with high blood pressure. A change in his medications caused his blood pressure to spiral out of control and caused a stroke. Yao has courageously battled back from this potentially devestating medical emergency to return to teaching, playing drums and touring with NYSJE with much success!
While on the most recent European tour with NYSJE, Yao became suddenly and violently ill. He had to be admitted to the ICU at a hospital in Bern Switzerland mid-tour (December 27th), where he currently remains. It was discovered upon his admission to the hospital that he was battling a kidney infection, has severe kidney damage from the years of battling high blood pressure and is in the early stages of kidney failure which has caused his overall blood volume to decrease to half normal level!. In addition, he has an infection of his large intestine caused by a combination of bacteria (pseudomonas) and a fungus that they have yet to identify. He has been on antibiotics to fight the infections and will need to continue the antibiotic treatments once he returns to the USA. He has recieved dialysis multiple times during his hospital stay and is very slowly recovering his strenghth. It is hopeful that he will be stable and strong enough to travel back to the USA soon, but the doctors have no firm answer about when he will be able to do that.
It is unclear how much, if any, of his overseas medical expenses will be covered by his USA insursance company. The medical costs of a week in ICU, multiple dialysis treatments, medications, endless tests and several weeks in the Nephrology wing under constant care and observation are understandably astronomical! Add the extra costs of international flights for his wife to be at his side to help him through this medical ordeal, lost wages for both Yao and his wife, childcare for their two sons while Yao is recovering in the hospital overseas and when he returns home, the future medical costs that he will incur during his battle with kidney disease, ongoing dialysis and potentially a future kidney transplant, and he and his family are looking at staggering bills!
Please consider donating anything you can to help Yao recover both physically and financially from this ordeal so that he can return to his wife, two young sons, family, job as a school teacher and hopefully, in time, to where anyone who has seen him perform knows he belongs...playing his drums.