Dear Friends and Family,
As most of you may know Tim has been suffering from non-alcoholic stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver.
Tim has stage 4 non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that most patients live with for years and don’t know they have or show any symptoms of, until one day they feel ill, get tested and bam! stage 4. The liver is an extremely robust and strong organ and by the time Tim was diagnosed, Wow! stage 4. This is a potentially fatal diagnosis, and Tim needs a live liver donor. A live donor increases Tim’s chances of survival vs a cadaver liver.
It all started March of 2015 while working as a manager at Camping Survival, after a few trips to his boss’s offices due to incomplete or poorly prepared paperwork, such as numbers not adding up his boss started showing concern that he could perform his job.. Tim continued having difficulties with his paperwork and became more confused and frustrated. As a result of his declining duties he was ultimately fired. Now out of work, Tim continued to be confused and found it difficult to concentrate on everyday tasks. We noticed he was looking a bit Jaundice also. So with time on his hands he made a Doctor’s appointment. During a routine colonoscopy, along with an enlarged spleen, they noticed problems with the liver. Two weeks after losing his job, Tim was diagnosed with stage 4 liver diseases.
Since then, Tim, with his wife Pam by his side, has endured many complications with his health as a result. Diabetes, side effects to medications, Platelets, air in his intestines from the Lactose that they use to bring his high ammonia levels down, four Varices had to be banded to prevent him bleeding into his stomach, blood transfusions, and blood clots. This all included many trips to the VA for numerous things throughout the years. Now Tim has weekly trips to the VA Hospital to have the fluids drained out of his stomach (paracentesis). He averages 4 to 7 liters of fluid being drained, sometimes twice a week. Tim and Pam often misses out on family functions and holidays because either Tim is in the hospital or the fear of Tim picking up something and getting sick and ending back up in the hospital.
Tim’s case is a bit unique and it has been hard for his doctors to manage his treatment. So unique, that his case has been sent out to other hospitals to study and possible feedback.
During all this Tim and Pam’s strong faith, sense of humor and family support has kept him strong and hopeful.
Now, in 2019 and you may be wondering why we have not reached out before now. Well we just found that we have been getting conflicting information along this journey. As of late we were led to believe that Tim’s only chance was a cadaver liver and even with his failing health his numbers still did not get him on the list for one. After meeting with a transplant surgeon and transplant Nurse coordinators at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) and other helpful people and organizations on his recent visit to Pittsburgh, we have learned that a living donor is also an option. This greatly increases his chances of success, once a compatible donor can be found.
Though The Veterans Administration and UPMC cover many of the expenses involved, we started this Go Fund Me page to help with Tim and Pam’s ongoing expenses as well as any expenses a donor will incur.
- Michael Spondello
- Joleen Knapp
- Ryan Haynes
- Herb and Sharon James