Kidney Transplant 101st Army Airborne!

My cousin (though more of a brother to me) Thomas Dean Smith is a 101st Army Airbourn Air Assualt veteran out of Fort Campell, Kentucky.  What an Honor to have him in our family!  He had a wife and kids and was gone from them for 6 months, a year sometimes, overseas...Korea, Japan, Honduras, Guam, Alaska.
                                                                                             Then came his 38th Birthday after that is when it all came tumbleing down with a middle of the night blod clot in his heart,lucky his wife had went to check on him,he was in the floor,she called the rescue squad which Thomas was a member and long time fireman in Maryland and Virgina,they were there in a hurry,they took him to meet the Helicopter,                                                                                                                          On the way a state trooper was on top of him pounding on his chest as thomas had died,One of 7-10 times Thomas was revived on the way to the chopper.each time the rescue squad had to pull off the road and stop to revive him,,

Thomas at one time was gone almost 20 minutes,he made it to the Hospital the University of Virgina,Which has a great Heart program,They stabilized him that night,Said there was a clot lodged in his heart and half his heart was now dead from the episode he just had,They determined the clot was going no where and all went home for the night,During the night in the Hospital the clot moved to the other side of his heart and killed almost all of what was left,He had very little heart left functioning,                                                                                                                                                                          The doctor informed him he needed a immeadiate Heart transplant,So the search was on,One was located a perfect match,Thomas was ready for the surgery,Then there was a problem,No transportation for the Donor Body in to UVA,No Aircraft space avalible,

So that was a major let down,the doc said you will need to be hooked up to a machine in the wall for 6 months as once your hooked upit takes that long before you canh be removed from it, Thomas said,Id rather not,The doctor said then its time to say good bye ,Thomas said why ,The Doc said ,You wont be here Monday morning,

Well thankfully during the weekend another miracle happened ,Another perfect match Donor become avalible,And it was close to the Hospital,Tom got his Heart transplant!!

We are very very grateful for a very thoughtfull annoymous donor,That was 10 years ago,And its still going Strong!,But there was a problem,Sometimes the Kidneys get damaged in Heart Transplants and its hard to tell if they will be ok ,A judgement call by the doctor doing the transplant,Well they thought they were ok.Unfortunatly he was not so lucky,And with in 4 years after the heart his Kidneys were history ,Both of them,

For the last six years they have struggled to pay all the bills for medical which was impossiable,His wife Heidi kept working her butt off to keep a roof over there heads and to pay what bills she could,

Then to the hospital back to work etc,Untill her back finally failed and she hernieated 2 disks ,And ended up in UVA Hospital 2 floors down from Thomas,She had major surgery,And was placed on SSI Disability,

So they Have had Thomas on dialysis for the last 6 years now,He was at the top of the transplant list as long as he was active,
Thomas could go ahead with a Transplant,Thomas was Removed from the Active list as the hospital wanted to see $10,000 in a bank acct for a Anti Rejection medication Thomases ssi disability would not cover for rejection of the kidneys after a transplant,

The whole time of course i was in close contact  Daily,With my cousin,so,I got Ten Thousand dollars  together of my own money,I had at the time and he was put back on the active Kidney transplant list yea!!!,Dream come true! A normal life finally,The transplant docs told me he would now lead,

,So i got the bank to give me a letter stateing the money was there for the transplant and the next day or two he was on the list,the doc said less than a month you will have A Kidney for transplant,,As if your inactive you still keep your place on the transplant list and you move up ,Also if your not active and a match comes thru ,You get passed by,So i got him active status,My Girlfriend Peyton and i then headed to Thomases house,We spent the night,The next morning he had a kidney transplant operation,

We were all thrilled!!,Everything went fine,about 3 or 4 days later,Trouble started ,A week went by ,And they had to remove his new kidney,And we all hit a new low in life,Aparently when the Hospital did all there testing they missed that ,
Thomas was missing a gene ,That broke down blood clots in his body,They flush kidneys before transplants ,But you can not get all the tiny Clots in the little vessels in the smaller areas of the Donor kidneys,And one of those clogged the kidney up,The Kidney now had to be removed,

Now we need another 15 thousand dollars 10 for the kidney and 5 for other costs incurred before they will transplant a new kidney in him again,after making him active again,As he is now no longer on the active list ,Untill that $15,000 is raised,

They have figured out how to do the transplant successfully now useing Cumidin and Hepren ,Both blood thinners during the operation trouble is,The doc said there is a very good chance he could pass away,Before they got all the bleeding stopped during the operation to transplant the Donor Kidney a 50/50 chance of survival or losing Thomas on the operateing table,Thomas has said he is tired of living a life in misery,Dialysis for the last 6 years now, 3 days a week and is willing to take that risk,

If we can raise the Money for the transplant,He will lead a normal life if its successful..So im asking all the good people who read this to please help us ,With any size donation,

We do not want familys to donate money that will cause them hardship,So please only give if you can,Thomas being a Prould Veteran of the 101st Airbourne Air Assualt Group from Fort Campbell,Ky,Would never ask for help ,So im asking for him,With His Permission to Raise the Funds for him as his health will not permit him to take on such a strenous long term task like this,Thomas has asked me to start this fundraising campainge to raise that $15,000 dollars just for the transplant and related medical expensises,Unfortunatly because of a certian former Hospital who puts Money before the health and life of there paients We were unable to continue transplant efforts at UVA in Charlottesville,everything of value they have is pretty much gone or has a Hospital lien on it,
and any monies raised connected to there name will be taken from them before he can have a Very Criticaly life improving  Kidney transplant,So Thomas can try and work and meet some of the finicial obligations he has for past Heart related transplant Bills and the failed Kidney transplant bills UVA wants paid,No one is trying to beat anyone out of there money here,

Thomas is just trying to become well enough so he can do some kind of work to help pay those incrediable bills down,as he has been sued by UVA several times now for bills he just does not have the funds to pay,He was a over the road truck Driver with his wife Hiedi as a husband wife driver team,that owned there own brand new truck,had a good successful bussiness going for a good while before the increasing Fuel prices squeezed them out of bussiness like many other independent Small Companys were squeezed out of bussiness because they could not compete with the bigger haulers,If anyone wants to continue donateing after tha $15,000 Dollar transplant goal has been  reached ,It would be greatly appriceated as they have Had to file bankruptcy 3 times now and are still going thru there third Bankruptcey still,

They own virtually nothing that does not have hospital liens etc on it ,There  at least $200,000 in debt as of now,Were not asking for that ,As we think thats quite a bit to ask anyone for.and were not comfortable doing so.What we would like to do for now is to get Thomas Healthy now so he can do the right thing by trying to pay down this debt if he can get back doing Over the road driving once again,we are not sure 100% that will be possiable until we get past this next Hurdle of another Kidney transplant attempt, Please understand Thomases life will be on the line as this is a very very Dangerous Operation and as the doctors have told us all,that Thomas has a very real possibility of not making it off the operating room table.

Thats a very chilling statement to make here,but we want Donors to know the gravity of the situation of what we are attempting to do here,

Thomas is very aware of the Dangers of this as all of us close family members also know,I have had many private personal conversations with Thomas about Reservations i have about this operation and his past track Record of bad luck we have had so far,So after understanding Thomases feelings about how he feels about his quality of life has been with the dialysis for the last six years 3 times a week and all the suffering the day after it,its a continual grind to stay alive,that he is now willing to take this risk to have a chance at leading a normal life after transplant for the first time in over 10 years,after several conversations with him i fully understand his position and i have no choice but to be all in as is the rest of the family 150% behind him and what could very well be his last chance at living a normal happy life again like the rest of us all do.
Thomas and his Wife Hiedi have asked that the fund account be placed im my Name so that the funds any of you donate will be at there discretion at all times,and for legal purpouses out of the reach of partys trying to take anything else of value they may come up with,if it was put in there named it would be siezed pretty quick,feel free to contact Thomas Dean Smith in reguards to  this if you will feel more comfortable with donateing to him for his kidney transplant.

Thomas Has now been switched to a new and we feel better Hospital for kidney transplants with one of if not the best Kidney transplant doctors the VCU,Virgina Commonwealth University hospital ,Which has been a very very Wonderful Caring staff for Kidney Transplant Paients,f you ever need to have one this is the place to Go!

We all love Thomas and Hiedi very very much and we hope some of you can find it in your heart to help by making a Donation to make this very difficult Risky Transplant operation become a reality for Thomas and restore some dignity  and Happiness back in to Thomases life,as Thomas has told me many Times from before our last attempt and with this one ,he said Jim,you really have no Idea how much this means to me,,i told him,i think i have a pretty good idea about that and as i do often I told him i love him and things will be ok. And wont you Please  give a little help to this Veteran who is still Tying to live a normal life.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Thomases plight,i know it was long and there is so much more i could tell you,and we wont go in to the lack of assistance from the V.A, for this honorably Discharged Vet ,There is plenty of others trying to fix that now and we have enough on our plate for now.

God bless every one of you who chose to donate or just share the page for us please,and anyone who takes the time to Read about Toms life,Were both on Facebook if you need to chat with us and im sure my ph number is on the donation page.,ill be happy to answer any concerns you have,,Jim

  • Joy Evans 
    • $100 
    • 70 mos
  • Peyton Llewellyn 
    • $10 
    • 72 mos
  • Jimmy Persinger 
    • $150 
    • 78 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 78 mos
  • jeff hansen 
    • $100 
    • 80 mos
See all


Jimmy Persinger 
Louisa, VA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more