For those who don’t know Al Engels Sr., let us try to quickly describe him..
He’s a father, an even better grandfather, and to those lucky enough to know him - a good friend. He has an energy that surrounds him, and is infectious to the people around him. He has always given 100% in everything he does, and is always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. He has overcome so many obstacles in his life, which has been anything but easy. He even overcame a heart attack in 2012.
Al Engels Sr. was born in 1943 in New York City. On the night of April 4th, 1964 him and his friend were coming home from Mahopac, NY from visiting his friends’ ice cream shop. On the way back into the city, the car they were in had a flat tire. They pulled over on the Major Deegan Expressway. They got out of the car, and Al was leaning in the trunk to grab the spare tire. That is when tragedy struck. While leaning into the trunk, the driver of another car fell asleep at the wheel, and slammed into the back of the car that Al was leaning into. The force of the impact took Al’s body, and threw him 250 feet from the vehicle, while his right leg was still pinned in-between the two bumpers. His body was literally ripped out of his leg. He was rushed to Morrisania Hospital in the Bronx. That hospital ended up being his home for close to 4 months. During that time, he had a fractured skull from when he was thrown 250 feet, had 9 operations, and 56 blood transfusions. The doctors told his parents to plan for funeral arrangements because he wasn’t going to make it. They decided to try one more time to stop the internal bleeding. He was pronounced dead during that operation. Miraculously, the bleeding stopped on its own, and he survived. From that point on, he lived in pain for the remaining months living at the hospital, and still has pain to this day.
He had to learn how to walk all over again, with the help of a prosthetic leg. Most amputees have their knees, which makes it somewhat easier for them to walk, even run. Al has not had that luxury for the past 54 years. Unlike most prosthetic legs that slide over the knee, his prosthetic leg wraps around his hip. Its been a struggle these past 54 years for him to walk, and his pain still continued throughout the years, and he was forced to retire due to his disability in 1991.
In 2008, during a regular routine blood test in upstate NY where he lived, they noticed his liver count was elevated. They found Hep-C. They felt it was a mistake, and re-tested him. It was still there after the second test. It was confirmed, he had Hep-C. Fast forward to 2018, he now has Cirrhosis of the liver, due to the Hep-C. This all stemmed from one of his 56 blood transfusions. They had no way of testing for Hep-C in 1964, and it sat dormant until 2008 when the Hep-C was first discovered. Since then, it has drastically gotten worse to present day. The doctors down in Florida where he now lives have confirmed, the Cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer, but he’s at a much higher risk of liver cancer due to the 56 blood transfusions.
They wanted him to take a medication called Harvoni. His out of pocket co-pay cost would have been $41,000 for a one month supply. Yes, 30 pills for $41,000. Not being able to afford that (who can?), they then said they have an alternative, Epclusa. Epclusa, just like Harvoni, attempts to stop the Cirrhosis of the liver, which will lead to cancer. The cost of that, while still expensive, is $75,000 for a 3 month supply. His co-pay would be $7,000 per month. He applied for a grant through the pharmaceutical company for financial support, and thankfully it was accepted. They want him on a 6 month treatment plan. However, he was only approved for a 3 month supply through the grant, which started last week. After 3 months, he will be forced to pay $7,000 a month, for three months, which he just can’t afford. After numerous calls to various organizations, we have exhausted all of our other options, and we have now hit a brick wall.
Here is where we need help. His family is trying to help as much as they can, but after the 3 months is up, we don’t know what to do. We don’t have, nor can afford $7,000 a month for medication for 3 months. Its sad that if we were rich, he’d (hopefully) be cured. We don’t have that luxury. After his 6 month treatment plan, he has a 98% chance of succession.
We are swallowing our pride, and his family is asking for help. We don’t know what else to do.
100% of what is raised will be going straight to his medication. If you know him, you KNOW that he would never want help from anyone, as HE’S the one usually doing the helping for others, but during a time like this - we need to depend on family and friends. We realize these are tough times for people. That’s why we say, if you can’t help financially, please share our story and cause.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you for any donations or shares we get. We are truly grateful.
-The Engels Family
DonationsSee top donations
- Daelyn Fortney
- Nicolas Oliveri
- Jess & Carl Meyers
- Cynthia Mangels
- Erin Constantino
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more