This guy is like no one you have ever met. Russell Sebert is a fun-loving guy. He will make light of every situation just to put a smile on your face. He will talk to anyone and everyone wherever he goes. He will give you the shirt off his back to help someone out. He is a husband, stepfather, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, son, and son-in-law who cannot be replaced.
However, right now, he is in the hospital and struggling to make light of the situation that he is in. He was born with blue baby syndrome, a disease that affects the heart and causes an infant's skin to have a blue pigment. Unfortunately, it is a disease that many who are born with do not ever live a normal life. There are many causes of blue baby syndrome, but in Russell’s case, he was born with a hole in his heart and no pulmonary valve. His first heart surgery took place in 1973. He has had a total of 13 heart-related procedures/surgeries, and he had his last open-heart surgery for a pulmonary valve replacement three years ago.
Russ became sick and was diagnosed with pneumonia about three years ago. He was not getting any better with antibiotics and was rushed to the hospital on Monday, Aug 12, 2019. Upon further testing, the doctors found that Russ has a condition called Endocarditis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. People with Russ’s condition are more susceptible to this type of infection. Endocarditis is fatal if left untreated. The large team of Doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center treated him with two types of antibiotics for six weeks. Upon further testing, they determined that he needed another open-heart surgery to remove a mass, because the infection was attacking the heart and replacing the heart valve again. He had the surgery on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019.
The outcome of this surgery turned out to be far more dire than anticipated. The doctors were unable to complete the surgery because the infection was so widespread. The surgeons did not close the chest cavity for four days as they aggressively tried to fight the infection that had attacked his heart. Within three days of the surgery, Russell’s kidneys began to fail, and he had to receive dialysis. Russell remained hospitalized for about 1 ½ months. After he was released, he had to continue receiving dialysis for 2 ½ months. He was hospitalized again for another 24 days. His physical and mental status was dissipating. With each passing day, tensions only grew along with his medical bills surging well over $800,000.
Today, Russell is on the heart transplant list waiting for a new heart at The University of California Los Angeles. Initially, doctors were reluctant to perform this surgery despite the desperate need. Throughout the years, Russell’s right side of the heart grew to his chest bone, which makes him extremely high risk for any heart surgeries due to the possibility of causing any further potentially fatal or life-altering injury to the heart upon entry. With all of Russell’s previous surgeries, doctors were concerned that the healing and recovery time would only complicate and make Russell more susceptible to infection.
This has put a financial hardship on his family due to the lost income from his hourly job, which he is unable to work at this time. With Russell unable to work, his wife is supporting the family. She continues to work remotely due to a temporary need to relocate to California (Near UCLA) for the operation. The financial weight of the medical bills from the last surgery, the upcoming medical bills and the relocation has created extreme hardship for Russell and Selina. With this heart transplant estimated to exceed $1.5 million, daily medical needs (for the rest of his life) are expected to surpass an estimated $30,000 a month.
If you are able to help, even a little, we are confident that your collective contributions will ease the burden of the financial hardship of the cost of the hospitalization, the surgery, and the medicine he’ll need post-surgery. Let us all join together and commit ourselves to give Russell the extension in life he so deserves. If you cannot contribute financially, please add Russell and Selina to your prayer list and forward this page to everyone you know. Russell needs your help now more than ever.
Russell is a man who will impress you with his cheerful and happy-go-lucky personality. He’ll treat you like the man or woman of the hour and cater to your needs, ensuring that you are welcomed and comfortable. Who makes you feel like it’s Christmas every day of the year. Every day with Russ is full of cheer and laughter. Please help us to allow Russell Sebert to continue to bring light to this world.
- Mindy Harmon
- Keesha Aldridge
- Brittany Anderson
- Kathleen Keeley-Dunbar
- Norm Thomson
Fundraising team (3)
Raised $220 from 2 donations
Raised $1,210 from 9 donations
This team raised $4,335 from 42 other donations.