As some of you know, Bruce needs to have an important surgery this November. Without it, before too long, he could lose the use of his esophagus and have to spend the rest of his life on a liquid diet. The good news is that there is a pioneering surgical technique that has had excellent success in helping stave this off for many, many years. The bad news is that it’s very expensive. This GoFundMe is a way for us to reach out and ask for help to ensure Bruce can get the treatment he needs
At the age of 19, Bruce was diagnosed with a rare condition called Achalasia. This is a serious disorder that affects the esophagus, making it hard to eat and drink normally.
If you have Achalasia, your esophagus does not sufficiently push food or liquid into your stomach and the valve at the bottom of the esophagus (the lower esophageal sphincter - LES) doesn’t relax enough to let food pass normally.
This is why Bruce needs to drink 1-2 litres of water with each meal - to help push the food through his LES.
There is no cure for Achalasia, but symptoms can be managed with surgery, and Bruce has had previous surgery that we thought was managing the condition well.
Unfortunately, Bruce had some routine tests at the beginning of this year and it was a big shock to hear that the damage to his esophagus has progressed faster than expected, and that he needs corrective surgery as soon as possible.
The procedure Bruce needs is called POEM (Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy). POEM was first performed in 2008 by professor Haruhiro Inoue from Japan. Only about 1500 of these surgeries have been performed around the world to date. All the experts we have consulted are telling us that Bruce’s condition is now at a stage where POEM is the only and best option Bruce has.
Which brings us to this fundraiser.
This November, Bruce will travel to Zurich, Switzerland for the surgery. Because Achalasia is very rare, and the need for this surgery is rarer, the whole thing is going to cost a lifechanging £33,000, which our health insurance will not cover.
Our goal is to raise money to cover the cost of the surgery in Zurich.
We appreciate anything you can contribute, everything helps!
Bruce spent the first few months of this year writing an album of beautiful relaxing music, and as a thank you for donating, here is a link you can click on to listen or download:
If you're not able to donate you are still most welcome to download the album.
And here is a link to an animation of the POEM procedure:
Many thanks for your support, we will update this page regularly as the journey progresses.
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- Karen Aitken
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