Billy and I met in a perfect storm: I moved to Chicago in 2005 for College and he relocated back to Chicago at the same time to escape Hurricane Katrina. We started dating on October 22nd and have been together, inseparable, since. Our relationship is imperfect, as is every relationship, but our undying love and understanding for one another has always gotten us through.
I love Billy for his creativity, his mastery, his passion. He lights up every part of my life. We’ve had many adventures together over the past twelve years and I hope for many more.
In my career I teach people that asking for help is a sign of strength and I encourage them to reach out when they can not go at it alone. This is me trying to be strong, this is me asking for help.
On Friday, December 15th, 2017 Billy was admitted to Lagrange Hospital with an apparent infection. I thought that he would be on an IV for the weekend back to normal by Monday. Over the coming days his condition mysteriously deteriorated; His heart started to fail, his lungs fought to work, his kidneys couldn’t sustain and he shut down. He continued to ebb and flow for days. On Monday the Doctors at Lagrange told us that if Billy was not relocated to a tertiary care center we were going to lose him.
We received a miracle and a bed opened in the ASHU at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. Billy was relocated by helicopter and their incredible team of doctors and nurses began working to identify Billy’s troubles and find a solution. He seemed to stabilize on Tuesday evening.
Wednesday morning the cardiovascular doctors explained to us that Billy’s heart was failing and without an immediate attempt at saving It he would lose his life. They took him into surgery and he is currently on ECMO, a device that acts as his heart and his lungs to give his actual heart an opportunity to rest and heal while they figure out a solution. He is critical and we must take each day as a fight to bring him back.
My mind swirls with fear, sadness, frustration, pain. I know that Billy will make it through, but the road ahead of us is long and confusing. We, like many other Americans, have lived paycheck to paycheck and the mere thought of our medical bills is anxiety inducing. It’s difficult to know what will be covered at this point.
I need help. Billy needs help. I don’t ever ask for handouts or take anything i didn’t work for. But, as of now, i have no choice. I’m asking for a financial contribution, any contribution, to assist Billy and I in paying our medical bills so that he can live the fullest life when he gets out of the hospital. I have to believe he will.
Thank you, Chris Auteberry
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