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Costs for Ben Barth’s Heart & Lung Transplant

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Update 6/5/23
They have a potential donor for Ben. Surgery is scheduled for 10:00 am today pending outcome of further testing and condition of the donor’s organs. We don’t know anything about the donor but we are praying for his family and are so incredibly appreciative of the gift he has given to Ben. 

Hi, my name is Paula Rogge. I am Ben Barth's future mother-in-law. I started this GoFundMe to help Ben, his fiance', Heather and their 2 boys, Max & Caleb with medical costs and living expenses related to his hospitalization and upcoming heart & lung transplant. Ben is a 40 year old, hard working man who, even with a congenital heart condition that would have allowed him to collect disability, still worked all his life to create a happy, comfortable home for his family. He is a kind, loving, caring man who would do anything for Heather and his boys. Heather is a dedicated mother and fiancé who put herself through college to get her Bachelor's degree in accounting, all while working full time and raising her young son. Heather is a generous, compassionate woman who for the past 3 years has run a foster based animal rescue in WI that rescues dogs and cats from TX from euthanasia lists, overcrowded shelters and abandonment. Together they have 2 boys. Max is 14 and enjoys playing hockey and Caleb is 12. He enjoys playing video games. Ben & Heather we're planning to get married in October 2024. Ben was born with a congenital heart defect. All his life he has seen doctors, been on medications, had surgeries and managed the symptoms of his condition. However, for the past several months Ben has been struggling with extreme fatigue and occasional episodes of passing out which were symptoms he had never experienced before. After talking with his cardiologist at a routine visit, it was decided to start with lab work. His labs revealed low potassium levels. On May 1st, Ben was admitted to the Froedtert hospital in Milwaukee as a result of the low potassium labs. The plan was for Ben to be admitted to the hospital for a few days on IV potassium in hopes that bringing his levels up would help him feel normal again. But as the days passed, Ben continued to get worse. He was unable to keep his oxygen at a life sustaining level on his own and needed to be put on oxygen. His heart was also not pumping strong enough to get blood to his vital organs for them to work properly and his kidneys began to shut down. He was retaining so much fluid that the doctors had to drain several liters out of his abdomen with a needle. The doctors performed test after test and tried several different treatments and medications but were unable to get his heart & lungs to work properly on their own. It was decided that he would likely need a heart & lung transplant. Ben was airlifted to Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN on May 12th in hopes that they would be able to get him on the transplant list and perform the surgery. After 2 weeks of tests, a variety of unsuccessful treatments and medications, he was finally placed on the list for a heart & lung transplant on May 31st at an urgency level of 3 out of 7, with 1 being the most urgent. Ben will remain at Mayo until his transplant as he is just too sick to wait for a donor at home. After the transplant surgery, Ben & Heather will need to remain in Rochester for a minimum of 3 months as Ben will need to see his transplant team daily. He will also need to stay close to the hospital in case he starts showing signs of organ rejection. Ben will also need to be on several daily anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life. As I'm sure you can guess, the medical bills & travel costs are continually mounting. Ben has health insurance from his employer, but it's only covering a fraction of the medical costs and he has obviously been unable to work since his admission on May 1st. Heather has continued to work throughout his hospitalization but visits Ben in Rochester every weekend. Her visits help boost Ben's spirits as being alone, so far from home, with a life threatening condition is causing him to become anxious and somewhat depressed. He is missing his home and his boys immensely as due to school, schedules and activities, they've only been able to visit him once since he's been at Mayo. Any funds received will go towards medical costs, Travel costs as Heather is staying in hotels when she visits Ben Housing costs, Ben & Heather will need to rent a home in Rochester for at least 3 months after his transplant as well as maintain their home in WI. General living expenses, we don't know how long Ben will be out of work or if he will ever be able to return to work Before all this happened, Ben & Heather were planning their wedding. Now any money set aside for their dream wedding, will be used for medical costs. Which they are obviously okay with. Family is helping as much as we can, but the enormity of the cost is just more than any of us are prepared for. It was also so unexpected and everything happened so fast that there was no time to prepare. Please consider donating to this beautiful family! Both Ben and Heather are hard working people who have worked so hard for everything they have and rarely put themselves before others. Thank you


  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 mos
  • Donovan Mattole
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Jessica Janzer
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Cindy Bader
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • andrea hardy
    • $30 
    • 1 yr

Fundraising team (2)

Paula Rogge
West Bend, WI
Heather Wolf
Ben Barth
Team member

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