We are writing to ask for your support in a difficult and hopeful new beginning. Brother James Barbee will be in surgery Monday morning, October 16th at 5am for a heart valve replacement. This is a moment that we knew would come and have expected for many years and the moment has arrived. We are thankful to relay the fact that though this has developed on very short notice and without much time to adjust, this procedure will be both saving B.J.’s life and providing him with a new beginning.
One week ago, B.J. happened to schedule a series of tests and routine check-ups before his health insurance expired next month. He followed his instincts and happened to request an arteriogram, which is not considered routine. It was at this time that his cardiologist found an aneurysm in his heart related to the terrible fall he took last year. At the time, the most obvious and painful damage was to his spine but unbeknownst to all of us, his heart was also damaged by the impact. As we understand it the aneurysm would have worsened rapidly over the next six months and without detection would have eventually caused heart failure.
You can imagine how grateful we who love B.J. feel at this time to know that this condition was identified and will be treated in time. He has an incredible medical team at St. Thomas who have proven to be wise and compassionate in their decisions regarding B.J.’s treatment. We feel confident that he is in the best hands.
We are now focused on the future and are concerned with the extensive recovery time this invasive surgery demands. BJ will spend at least a week in the ICU followed by 3-4 months of recovery at home. Jenna, his girlfriend, is in school full time and will be bravely and generously assuming the role of nurse as BJ recovers. We are attempting to raise funds to offset their basic living expenses for the projected recovery time.
Our goal is to raise $7,000.00 to cover three months of their living expenses or at least partially offset any out-of pocket medical expenses as well. Please contribute any sum that you can and help us spread the word by posting this to your social media accounts. We would appreciate your prayers, love and kind thoughts on Monday morning. The Barbee clan will gather in Nashville, TN to support this wild man we love so much who will go under the knife to inherit one more big scar and one more big story.
B.J. is in good spirits, sober-minded and focused on rebuilding and protecting his health. His body is pretty tired but his sense of humor is still very much intact. Thank you for being a part of his life and thank you for helping us prepare him for the new one he will have after this is over.
We will be posting updates throughout the next week.
In gratitude and love,
-Evan and Emily Barbee and fam
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