Doug Routh Medical Assistance

Hello, everyone!  Thank you for taking the time to read my story and consider how you may help me and my family in our current situation.  Eight years ago I began experiencing severe pain in my chest, stomach, and throat.  Through months of testing, it was determined I had a severe case of GERD (Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease).   The recommended medical treatment was to be on PPI prescription medication to stop the production of stomach acid.  This created another set of health issues as it also prevents proper absorption of minerals and vitamins and allowed growth of damaging bacteria to thrive where normally it is held in control by the stomach acid.  The valve in my esophagus directly above my stomach became inactive allowing erosion of the esophagus.  

This has become a full on medical nightmare the past couple of years and utterly unbearable as I deal with chronic, and severe, abdomen pain and constant nausea.  I've been to the ER countless times and was finally referred to a pain management physician to manage the pain through narcotic pain medicine.   To continue on this path will evolve from Barretts Disease into cancer of the throat.

I live curled in a fetal position on the bed several evenings each week unable to be part of my family's activities.  I hear my children's disappointment that I cannot spend time with them again as they say "Dad's sick again..."

After several more visits to the ER earlier this year, I made appointments at The Cleveland Clinic's GI and Thoracic Departments for a second opinion to hopefully find a different course of treatment.  Within two months of repeat, and additional testing, they determined that I need to have surgery to reconstruct the connection, and valve, from the esophagus to the stomach to create what normal anatomy has failed in my system.   This will allow me to discontinue my current medications and allow the digestive system go back to a normal state of functioning to take care of itself.  The success of this type of surgery has been rated high for me so I have elected to go this direction and have scheduled the surgery for the end of September.

With that said, we have accumulated large out-of-pocket medical expenses over the past 5 years we have used credit cards and depleted our savings and retirement accounts to pay down the majority of this mountain of expense.  We find ourselves at the end of our resources with approximately $15,000 more to pay.  To this end, we are seeking assistance. 

To complicate matters, other recent unexpected expenses have put us in the unfortunate position of not being able to pay off the medical bills nor give assistance to our daughter who is heading off to college this fall.  We would dearly love to help her with her college expenses without the need for her to go into much debt herself in student loans.  However, we are limited in the help we can give her toward her education. 

It seems my real struggle is a feeling of failure to my family in taxing them financially with my health issues and that my daughter may not be able to continue with her education.  

A friend of mine suggested we try GoFundMe and that she spearhead this endeavor.  I've certainly struggled with feelings of pride and shame to ask for help and have procrastinated several months in considering this.  She said there is no shame to reach out for help, and in the same way we've been able to help others, they would be willing to help us.   

It's still hard for me to ask for financial help and assistance of any type,  but  I am grateful for your consideration of contributing financially or simply with suggestions of other avenues that could help.
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  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Melody Tyler 
Fort Wayne, IN
Douglas Routh