James's Journey to a Healthy Heart

In February of 2018, with a fabulous team of doctors, nurses, and staff by our side, we embarked on this new journey towards a new heart for Dad. In the final stages of congestive heart failure, we were left with few options - but one of the options was to move forward with an LVAD implant (heart pump) and utilize it to bridge towards a heart transplant. We opted for this and in March, Dad received his LVAD.
After 30 days in ICU and another 30 days in step-down, Dad was discharged  home, but continued to have hurdles. A few minor set backs with his pressures, a good many gi bleeds that found us back in the hospital, and now with a sleepy kidney that has been held stable with ongoing dialysis, his healthcare team began exploring options for a heart AND kidney transplant. 
In June, we made a trip to Kentucky for transplant evaluation. We were there for a full week of work ups and back to back appointments and were blessed to have the option of family nearby to help ease the burden of being away from home. At that time, Dad was admittedly very weak. After two months in the hospital, he had lost quite a bit of muscle mass and his strength had declined quite a bit. The team at Kentucky decided not to list him for transplant due to this. They sent us home with instructions for cardiac rehab. And so that we did. Or at least attempted. Scheduled for 3 times a week, Dad managed to do 1-2 times a week, unable to make his appointments due to increased hospital stays for GI bleeds. 
As these back and forth visits continued, his healthcare team began to aggressively explore other options for transplant. After exploring our options, their best decision led us to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Tennessee for a procedure to take care of the gi bleeds as well as a complete work up and evaluation to be placed on the list for a heart and kidney transplant. While Tennessee is closer to home, staying with family close by is no longer an option. Being at this location, so far, has been a blessing but it has thrown a bit of a wrench in our months of planning for a lengthy stay with family in Kentucky. 

As part of the extensive work up and evaluation process, one of the transplant teams jobs is to go over the "long term" components of getting a heart/kidney transplant.  We met with several coordinators and social workers, and they have all strongly encouraged us to have a fundraising plan in place as we move forward. They are aware of the expense of the anti-rejection medications that Dad will be on for the remainder of his life as well as the expense of continued follow up visits to Nashville for at least a full year after the transplant.  Dad has great insurance, but it doesn't cover everything and it especially doesn't cover travel expenses (lodging, gas, etc).

Please know that fundraising is not something we are personally thrilled to do, but facing reality, as Dad would say, "It is what it is"... it's part of this journey.

We created a Facebook group when we began this journey, and we welcome you to join and follow along. We typically post daily updates as to what's going on, where we are, fun and heartwarming stories and pictures of things that are happening along the way.
The group is "James's Journey To A Healthy Heart" and the link is:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/newheart18/


Thanks so much for your continued support, your positive thoughts and comforting prayers. 

Chelle & Christa
(James and Gail, too)
  • Farrell Eoff 
    • $25 
    • 22 mos
  • John Benson 
    • $100 
    • 22 mos
  • Robin Salazar 
    • $20 
    • 28 mos
  • Renee Smith 
    • $20 
    • 28 mos
  • Danny and Linda Quattlebaum  
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
See all

Fundraising team: James's Royiors (2)

Chelle Moore 
Organizer
Raised $1,100 from 3 donations
Sherwood, AR
Christa Darr 
Team member
Raised $420 from 7 donations
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