Joshua Ryan Smith's heart surgery

A week ago I found out that my heart is failing. Echocardiogram results show that my heart is "slightly enlarged" and my aortic valve is not functioning. A closer look has revealed that my aortic valve is almost completely missing, causing aortic regurgitation that has been described to me as "severe". Essentially my heart is pumping blood in both directions and it will kill me if it is not repaired. My doctor stated that normal heart function is indicated by an efficiency rating between 50% and 75%. My heart function was last reported as being between 55% & 60%. If it falls below 50% I will be in cardiac arrest. Yesterday (Monday, 12-10-2017) I was told that time is not on my side and procedures need to commence as soon as possible. I had a T.E.E. procedure scheduled for tuesday to get more precise imaging, but the hospital refused to allow me to get it unless I could pay for it 100% in advance, which I couldn't do. Ultimately I need a new aortic valve. From what I gather they want to open me up, stop my heart, and put me on a heart & lung machine while they install a plastic valve, and if all goes well they can re-start my heart when they're finished. That sounds horrific, but if it works, and I can get it done, I'll take it. My other option is a newer, much less invasive procedure that I just found out about that sounds much more promising to me. This would use stem cells from my bone marrow which would allow my body to create a new heart valve by itself. From what I gather it only requires 3 15 minute procedures over the span of a year, and would start saving my life after the 1st procedure. It also eliminates risk factors such as rejection and complications from general anesthesia. I don't know what the price difference is between the two yet because I've only had a week to begin processing all of this. I do know that I currently can't afford EITHER option. An article I read stated that in Germany the stem cell operation costs about 15k. About an hour ago I found the Texas Heart Institute in Houston seems to be performing a similar procedure. That was at 5 am and it's 6 am now so I don't have much information yet. I'm trying to figure out how to save my own life and I'm doing it with a heart that's not working, which means I'm not functioning well as a whole, and I'm tired all the time. All I want to do is sleep, and I have so much work to do. And I'm still working my regular job but whatever happens it's going to cost money that I don't have. If anybody donates money to me and it ends up saving my life, I WILL pay you back. If I die before anything can be done then the money collected can be used for my funeral expenses, and I most likely will not pay you back.
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
  • Olivia Schreiner  
    • $50 
    • 18 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 18 mos
  • Larry Parrish 
    • $500 
    • 18 mos
  • Danny Mauer 
    • $50 
    • 18 mos
See all

Organizer

Joshua Ryan Smith 
Organizer
League City, TX
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more