My bother, Dave Johnson, was diagnosed with a genetic heart condition called HCM in 1998. In August of 2015 he received a total artificial heart to sustain him until a donor heart became available for transplant. In May of 2016 Dave received a heart transplant and battled rejection off and on the first few years but in 2018 the rejection seemed to be under control. However, on September 28th of this year he was admitted to Stanford Medical with an accelerated heart rate and low blood pressure. The first two weeks they were trying to figure out why he was feeling so bad. Come to find out he had a rare form of rejection that isn't usually tested for, it seems this has been brewing for a while. Dave had been gaining weight and having less and less energy. He had been seeing his doctors in PA, but nothing came of that. He started seeing the doctors at Stanford, and they were working to get the fluid off of him. He had been carrying around 40 pounds of water weight that previous doctors had told him was fat.
Dave went for an ablation on October 13th and his heart went into a bad rhythm that did not perfuse his other organs well at all. October 14th Dave was in full cardiogenic shock and multiorgan failure (This just means his heart was not working, and therefore he also went into kidney and liver failure.) They inserted a device called an intra-aortic balloon pump and a semi permanent pacemaker to try and help his heart pump enough blood to his organs. October 15th, it became obvious that Dave was continuing to go downhill, his family had to decide on end of life care, or a machine called ECMO till Dave could get a heart/ possible heart & kidney transplant. So they put him on an ECMO machine (this machine was doing the job of his heart and his lungs for him). Dave responded very well to the ECMO and they were able to start treating the heart rejection on October 16th.
As of October 24th, Dave was still on ECMO but his liver appeared to have completely bounced back. He no longer has the intra aortic balloon pump. He has completed most of the heart rejection treatment and his heart is responding but the big question was how much was the heart damaged while this rejection was happening.
Currently, as of Oct. 27th doctors have determined that Dave will need a heart and kidney transplant and plan to list him as early as Friday Oct 29th for the heart & kidney transplant. After being listed for transplant Dave must live in the hospital on ECMO until transplanted.
Additionally, they learned that after transplant they must live within 30 minutes of the hospital for three months which means they will need to temporarily relocate. Dave will also require a caregiver from the family that is available 24/7 during those three months.
Meanwhile, Christie (his wife), started a new job in August and they moved permanently to California at the end of July. As such she does not qualify for FMLA, does not have sick leave or vacation time saved up, and hasn’t been able to work the last 3 weeks.
The funds raised will go toward medical bills, housing, transportation purposes, and necessities such as food and caregiver expenses.
Any amount that you are able to donate will be greatly appreciated.