Since Rod was diagnosed over 15 years ago with Multiple Sclerosis, he has had to live in Long Term Care for the past 10 years. This is not easy at any age, but those who know Rod, know that he has always and continues to, enjoy company and a good joke, despite the severity of where this illness has taken him.
The Back Story - His days are bedridden with multiple hospital trips and much uncertainty. To say his days are not easy, is an understatement and yet he continues to bounce back, find reasons to smile and make those who spend time with him, forget what a terrible illness he has. We are so proud of him for his courage and love him deeply!
While we've always searched for anything to help Rod, the fact is that the disease progression offers little that can help him. We have however, found the COUGH ASSIST device that will alleviate much of Rods day to day challenges to clear his airways. His inability to cough strong enough to keep his airways clear of mucus, as his muscles weaken, cause him constant discomfort. This results in him trying to continually clear his airways, which causes even more fatigue and the inability to rest comfortably for long periods of time.
Did you know that the ability to cough is essential to a healthy airway and one that most of us do every day but for Rod, this is very difficult, despite his amazing strength!
The airway linings produce mucus which trap dirt and bacteria. This mixture of mucus, dirt and bacteria can be harmful if allowed to accumulate, which in Rod, it absolutely does and is a constant battle for him.
Watching him trying to clear his airways with coughing on a regular basis is heartbreaking, as his body fights against him and does not allow for a full cough to move his secretions through.
How you can help. We want to purchase a machine called a Cough Assist T70 Device. The machine will do a few things for Rod.
• It will safely, simply and effectively clear his secretions that stay in his upper airways due to his inability to cough them out on his own.
• This will also reduce the risk of infections, which no doubt has been the cause of so many hospitalizations for Rod. There have been 10 in the past year alone! Heartbreaking and truly amazing that he continues to fight through this!!!
• It is considered very safe and a non-invasive alternative to suctioning, which the nursing home is unable to do anyway.
• Easy for us as family to operate for him, since we are there daily.
The Costs - The device is sold for $4700. Plus tax by local reputable companies and the MS Clinic has been very helpful in providing us a list of local suppliers who will also offer us training on how to use the machine for Rod.
Once the funds have been raised, the machine will be purchased immediately and Rod will start to see benefits instantly! We have already witnessed the positive impact that this can have on him with a trial yesterday. Rod responded to it very well and it was very exciting to witness how something so simple, could be so beneficial for him. Every day that we don’t have that machine is one more day of challenges for him, he should not have to face!
Being diagnosed with a life changing progressive illness like MS is devastating and yet Rods example continues to show us that despite the many hardships that it creates, you can still continue to find a way to smile and be grateful. Rods illness no longer allows him to speak. Over the years, his sentences became words, his words became yes or no’s to head nods, to eye movements, the one thing that stands out the most is when out of nowhere he would say… “I am grateful!’ No sweeter words were ever spoken and always brought me to tears! Such a strong and inspiring man!
Please help us to help Rod and get the word out by donating what you can and sharing the link to your Facebook Timeline!
We are Forever Grateful to each of you for any help you can offer!
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