At the age of twelve, Joseph wanted to join the wrestling team but was unable to when a physical revealed the deteriorating condition of his aortic valve. He had to undergo an unexpected second open heart surgery to relieve the stress the valve was causing on his heart.
When he was 15, Joseph had his final open heart surgery, in which the surgeon removed his aortic valve and replaced it with his own pulmonary valve so that it could function normally. His pulmonary valve had to be replaced with a donor valve. He has just learned that this pulmonary valve replacement needs to be replaced, as it has become very blocked by scar tissue. He has a hard time breathing and cannot participate in strenuous activities. The cardiologist has advised he needs to have a catheter-based surgery to replace his valve this year, and it will need to be replaced regularly throughout the rest of his life.
Joseph is a newlywed and his wife is a full-time student. They are both working many hours to be able to save up enough to have the surgery, and all the testing he will need beforehand, as well as pay tuition and other expenses. His insurance is not covering most of the testing, and he will have to pay a large portion of the surgery as well. We are trying to help Joseph to afford this necessary procedure. Every donation from a loved one, even $10, will help us reach this goal. Prayers on his behalf are appreciated as well. He will soon thank you from the bottom of his well-functioning heart!
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- Brian Bertone
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