We need your help in this final stretch to make Tony's Transplant Journey a success! Please consider donating money to help pay for Tony's extended stay near his transplant center in Miami! Below you will find a short summary of Tony's recent health and why we need your help.
Tony received his life saving transplant at the age of 11 at the Miami Transplant Institute on August 23rd, 2016 after waiting on the list
for more than 6 years at other locations and the transplant itself was a success.
Now fast forward to July 2017, Tony (now 12) and us (his family Dad, Mom, and older brothers Vinny and Dom) are still in Florida due to the fact that Tony's immune system is having a hard time rebuilding itself as it was depleted following the surgery so his body could accept the new organs and not go into rejection.
He has had two bone marrow biopsies that have resulted in signs of "Aplastic Anemia" a condition where your bone marrow stops making the cells which is vital in keeping your immune system healthy and to fight off infections, instead Tony has a comprised immune system therefore any virus or sickness could put Tony in a critical and serious situation. Currently, Tony's white blood cell count remains around 0.0 consistently where as it should normally be anywhere between 4.0 to 12.0. This was something that shocked us including his transplant team.
During a recent 3 month hospitilization from April to July, Tony was given multiple rounds of a heavy duty drug called Campath to hopefully help boost and restore his numbers, along with frequent blood and platelet transfusions. However this treatment takes time to see if it will work, up to 6 months. If this treatment does not solve this issue, then a Bone Marrow Transplant may need to be preformed. (Ideally this donor would be a sibling or a family member.)
Tony's older brother Dominic (14) is the same blood type and may be a perfect match for a donor. This would involve Dominic or suitable donor ( O neg) being hospitalized, taken to surgery to extract however much bone marrow is needed then transfusing it into Tony so his body can use that to create new cells and build his immune system. Tony would then be hospitalized on the Bone Marrow Floor for at least a month to make sure his body accepts the bone marrow and that there are no further complications.
Currently at the present time Tony receives weekly transfusions via his PICC line and has been going to the Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami. He will now receive twice a week platelet infusions to maintain his hematology levels. This will require a day long stay in their PICU Special Procedures Unit for the infusions to take place. He has also been receiving IVIG to help his weakened immune system and with results of labs has from time to time received blood transfusions! Without these infusions Tony's own body would not be able to keep up and therefore could be fatal if not treated!
For more info on Tony's diagnosis and medical journey since 6 days old please visit www.aftft.com or you can call Mom just private messsge her and she'll gladly fill anyone in . Current situation and why we need your help!
For nearly the past year we have been residing in a Fifth Wheel Camper that was lent to us, by an anonymous woman who out of the kindness of her heart after hearing our story wanted to help us and greatly has and just recently with the generous donation from an anonymous donor who purchased an RV that we can reside in at C.B Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, FL about 30 minutes north of the center in Miami to help with our housing situation while we patiently await for Tony's system to improve, we are extremely blessed for their compassion and aide through our journey!
This RV and Campground has quickly become our second home which is perfectly situated from the hospital and where our Dad works, it has been an integral part of why Tony is so successful through this journey as he has been able to make new friends and bonds from fellow campers thanks to his outgoing personality, where he can recover in a setting that is both serene, very peaceful and familiar. Residing in at this campground has been the perfect setting for his recuperation where he is not susceptible to other's illnesses or germs which could be catastrophic.
The motivation the campground gives him alone has propelled recuperation and why the need to stay here is so great. Leaving here would break his spirit and would greatly impact and affect the outcome!
Staying at this park has also permitted our father to keep his employment as the company that has a facilty nearby has been able to temporarily transfer to since last September. Almost all of our Father's earnings go directly to bills to maintain our home in PA which we hopefully will return to which is another driving force in maintaining Tony's motivation and goal that has propelled Tony's recuperation in thinking about "coming home" !
Maintaining our fathers employment is also crucial as Tony's medical coverage is through our father's insurance from his employer (PA Medicaid doesn't cross state lines).
However insurance does not cover post transplant recuperation expenses such as lodging, gas and tolls, food and groceries, etc. Which we have had to do since last August as well as maintain our permanent house in Lancaster, PA.
Our residence back home has also been an vital in Tony's recuperation as it has propelled his motivation to get home. We will also use the camper when travelling back and forth as Tony will have future appointments in Miami with his Transplant Team every 3-6 months to ensure that the status of his transplanted organs and overall health is being maintained. The Plan
Tony's post medical care must be with his transplant team here in Miami. Although his transplanted organs are doing great at the moment, in a moment's notice things can change and with the delicate balance of tweaking his current regime of medications while aiding his immune system along with treating the EBV with medications and infusions, its impossible to think about returning back to PA anytime soon and why staying here at the campground near the hospital is so vital for a successful outcome.
All donations that come through our GoFund Me are linked to his Special Needs Trust: the Antonio Forte Transplant Fund Trust. Any private donor or company who wishes to list their donation as a charitable donation by their request will be furnished with the proper documentation for their year end tax purposes!
Even the smallest of donations would greatly be appreciated and would make a big impact to ensuring our efforts to make Tony's life changing transplant a success. Our motto has always been :"No donation is ever too small!"
If you, yourself are not able to make a financial contribution then please consider sharing this campaign on any social media outlets you may have such as Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Google/
etc. Or send it directly to friends/ family/businesses etc who may be able to help share and donate.
As always the love, prayers, thoughts, and well wishes from friends, family, and the supporters of Tony and our family are always extremely appreciated!
We cannot wait to bring a healthy and new and improved Tony back home to PA!