In December of 2009, Eddie underwent open heart surgery for an aortic aneurysm that saved his life. However, as he recovered from surgery, he found he was becoming increasingly short of breath. A lung biopsy followed and then came the diagnosis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). IPF is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in the lungs. It is also described as "scarring of the lung". The effects of this scarring are twofold. First, as healthy lung tissue is replaced by fibrotic tissue, the lungs are no longer able to expand normally and draw in air. Second, at the deepest level of the lung, oxygenation can no longer take place due to thickening and scarring of the lung. This deprives the body of life sustaining oxygen.
The cause of this fibrosis is unknown and there is nothing that can stop its' progression. The only cure is lung transplant. The medications and oxygen used to treat the disease are extremely costly and not fully covered by insurance. In addition, the cost of traveling to Cleveland Clinic is not covered by insurance at all.
Since October of 2012, Eddie has been undergoing testing at Newark Beth Israel and the University of Pennsylvania for the lung transplant list. He has now been referred to the Cleveland Clinic where we're hoping the surgeons will list him soon. He'll be making the trip there in mid-January.
All of these therapies and trips are creating a financial hardship on Ed and Diane, his wife. Diane has also had to take a lot of unpaid time off from her job. After Eddie and Diane raised their 6 children, they now find themselves raising 3 of their grandchildren as well. Any financial support you can give would be appreciated by this well deserving couple, as well as the whole McKernan family
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