We want to thank all of you again who generously contributed to our ability to attend the Adult Congenital Heart Association conference, which actually helped us prepare for this surgery. Having his sternum cut open, and his life drastically put on hold is no small deal for him. Meeting many folks who have done this multiple times, with even worse heart conditions, helped put it all in perspective. Peter knows that this is the path God has us on, and we are confident that this will help him be ready for the next leg of our journey together in life and ministry.
In short, here is our need. This next leg of our healing journey will be costly as we live 300 miles from UCSF. Our current need is for travel expenses: gas, car rental (Gale has sciatica in left hip and leg, and driving their stick shift car only aggravates it), food and lodging for 2 weeks, parking fees, medical equipment for home care, and the Mosgofian’s lost wages due to inability to work for a month. (We now receive Social Security so we don’t need to earn as much.) There is good news in our journey: our deductible is met, due to 4 hospitalizations this year, and numerous cardiology visits to UCSF. For this we are thankful. In addition- an anonymous donor has already donated $2000 toward our expenses!!!
A BIT OF PETER’S TOF HISTORY Peter was born with a rare and life threatening heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). TOF occurs in 400 out of a 1,000,000 live births. Commonly known as a "blue baby" because of poor blood oxygenation, the survival rate into adulthood, without surgery, is grim. The condition severely limits physical activity and capacity. They did not do open heart surgery in 1950, but he did get a procedure when he was 4 (in 1954) that kept him alive until they were beginning to get enough success with open heart surgery. Peter had a 12 hour open heart surgery at age 14 at Los Angeles Children's Hospital. He was recipient of one of the earliest open heart surgeries in 1964. Peter was living in a foster home at the time of his surgery and his recovery. If he had not been living in that foster home, his mentally ill mother would never have agreed to this surgery. He would have lived a very compromised life, most likely dying in his early 20s from complications related to the disease.
In so many ways he is a walking miracle. There is no question God has had his hand on him and used him powerfully as a therapist, teacher, pastor, and thriving surviver.
SOME SURPRISING NEWS
Here are some new factoids that blew us away:
- We did not know that Peter is one of the oldest survivors of the early and complex Open Heart surgeries for TOF.
- He is also the only person that our congenital heart disease specialist, who teaches and practices at UCSF, has known who went 50 years on the same repaired valve! (Most folks would have had 3 valve replacements at his age.)
- The world class specialist in transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement says Peter is the oldest surviving TOF patient he has ever met! He was very sorry that Peter was not eligible for that procedure and needs to have Open Heart surgery instead. They wanted to do the less invasive percutaneous method, but they found he has such a big valve it must be done via the open-heart method.
These just added to our awe in a God who saw what we did not see, and has an obvious plan in so much of what has gone on in His life.
WHY ARE WE AT UCSF?
The quality of care needed for congenital heart patients was not to be found in our rural county. The medical team at UCSF have been fabulous, and very caring. They work as a team of specialists who confer with one another and seem to be the best of the best.
We are loving the care and help we have received at UCSF and feel that, although it is 300 miles from home, we would choose no other place. We have learned so much from the doctors and staff there.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE PROGNOSIS?
Doctors tell us that Peter has a strong heart and his arteries are in great shape! Apparently this is rare for his age. Apparently many older TOF patients did not take care of themselves very well. He is currently living with a pacemaker/defibrillator that he is 100% dependent on. So far in the past 5 1/2 years the defib has not fired! We thank God for all of this The surgery should increase his cardio capacity considerably and improve his quality of life. He will be able to run and have less problem with altitude (and attitude!).
WHAT CHANGES ARE LOOMING IN OUR FUTURE?
This all comes while we are in the midst of major life transitions. We have been working on simplifying our very busy life in Humboldt County. We want to live closer to Gale’s aging parents, all our precious grandchildren, better airports, and Peter’s medical specialists. People ask us if we are retiring, and we say, “No, we are doing a lifestyle realignment.” Right now we think we are moving to Lompoc, CA, which places us 45 minutes from a lot of family both directions and is affordable to us.....but we never know what God might do?! We know we are called to work with pastors and leaders, encouraging their marriages, and also still want to do preventative work with young people. We have been in the wonderful school of faith this past year, learning to trust God more fully, to live more simply and we are finding it a joyous thing (especially Gale). Currently our move is on hold until Peter can heal enough to lift more than 5 pounds, which should be by the end of February.
- David & Amy Gray
- Tim Kersti Stoen
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