In Mid November 2020 Anthony was laid off from his job due to a covid outbreak. A week later he started complaining of back pain. He thought maybe he slept wrong so he started doing stretches everyday but nothing seemed to help. He even took AZO and cranberry juice thinking maybe he had a UTI. He felt a little better but then on December 18th he began to have severe stomach pains, and thought he might have eaten something bad. He took it easy over the course of the next few days, but his symptoms gradually got worse. He started vomiting and diarrhea; on December 20th he noticed blood in his urine and just wanted to sleep. On the morning of December 21, his wife called the ambulance. The paramedics were stumped, as on top of the other symptoms, bruises appeared all over his body, even the bottoms of his feet!
At the hospital his initial bloodwork showed he was very sick: his red blood cell count was low, his platelet count was low, his white blood cells were extremely elevated. His heart rate was 150, his blood pressure was high, and his sugar was 214. Speaking with the doctor that day it was confirmed he had (HUS) HEMOLYTIC UREMIC SYNDROME. The doctor stated that when looking at his blood under a microscope the red blood cells were breaking apart. A special blood test had to be ordered that confirmed he also had (TTP) THROMBOTIC THROMBOCYTOPENIA PURPURA. Both are very rare blood disorders, affecting only 1.7 people in every 1 million.
He received 2 blood transfusions, 4 plasma exchange treatments and platelets over the course of his stay. He was admitted the same day to ICU. He stayed in ICU for 6 days. On day 7 he was moved to oncology, as it was the only department that did the plasma exchange along with a new treatment called RITUXIMAB. That day they also informed him he was diabetic and when he came to the emergency room his kidneys were in acute failure. The doctor informed him she believed a case of salmonella started the HUS and put all this in motion.
Having no insurance, he was released two days later. His body is still weak and he needs follow up treatment. He is unable to work and bills are piling up. He has an application for a Gold card pending and meds he needs but can not afford. Prior to this he had no health issues. He was working full time as an Amazon delivery driver, taking care of his disabled wife and stepson. We’re praying he makes a full recovery and is able to go back to doing all the things he was doing before this.
We’re not sure how much his medical bills will be. Keeping a roof over his head, follow up care and medications and sticking to his diet are the priorities right now. We are also trying to learn about these very rare disorders. They don’t know exactly what caused the TTP, only that the treatments help bring the blood count back up and are hopeful it doesn’t return. There are many documented instances of recurrence in this illness and learning the signs and symptoms to get treatment right away if they happen are also something we are learning about. Any help you can give will he greatly appreciated. We have documentation if anyone wants to see it.
UPDATE: After less than a week at home, Anthony has been readmitted to the hospital with a recurrence of TTP.
PLEASE consider donating to help cover rent and medical bills for this family, as Anthony may not be able to work again for quite a long time.
We are SO grateful for your help!
- Brandon Coleman
- Georgia Hurts
- Kenneth Davis
- Iris Tomczyk
- Dannette Tribble
Organizer and beneficiary
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