It was a beautiful summer day 2013 and Kevin was getting ready for work & wasn't feeling very well. So he stepped outside for some fresh air, he became very nauseous and started vomiting blood. This is where it all became one issue after another as it still continues.
Kevin suffers from Esophageal Varcies which is enlarged veins in the esophagus that develop when normal blood flow to the liver is blocked by a clot or scar tissue in the liver. He has had 5 ruptures which required scoping and banding to stop bleeding. At time it was anywhere from 3-10 bands in a single procedure.
After the 1st episode happened, he was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver.
**Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions not just from drinking which is most associated with this disease. The liver carries out several necessary functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in your body, cleaning your blood and making vital nutrients.
In 2014, Kevin's condition stabalized and he was starting to lead a fairly normal life, until June 2016.
At that time the Doctors found a blood clot in his portal vein which is the main vein that carries blood to the liver and to the Splenic Atery & Mesenteric vein. He was put on blood thinners to attempt shrinking the clot, as blood thinners do not get rid of clots, the body has to dissolve them. We were all hopeful & praying that no more varices ruptures occured.
Summer 2017- The blood clot was still present and after scans were done it was reported that the clot had gotten bigger as well as smaller clots showing up. These clots were starting to cause Kevin EXTREME pain in his abdomen. The pain is uncontrollable and has sent him to the hospital for countless visits. The doctors didn't know what to do for him since the complications of each health issue poses another threat for another health condition. He is considered high risk for any type of surgery. during one of his last visits to the U of M he suffered from an extreme varcies rupture and lost a lot of blood.
An emergency team was called in and they scoped his Esophagus and banded veins once again. The team of doctors made the decision that it was time to do a procedure called Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS). This was done with no issues during the 4 hour procedure. The team was also able to break up the big clot that had been causing him so much pain.
Once Kevin was discharged from the hospital he was feeling better with no more sever abdominal pain. About 2 weeks in to recovery his blood sugars & ammonia levels (yeas we have ammonia in our bodies) sky rocketed, which has meant more hospital visits. during the month of November Kevin visited the Emergency Department 15 times!
He now has to regulate with Insulin, which at times doesn't help keep his numbers down.
Early December Kevin went in for his post procedure check up and the doctor is very pleased with how well the TIPS procedure is working. Some of the side affects that Kevin is experiencing are common and will hopefully get better, if not this could be the new normal for him.
Unfortunately the sad part about this chek up appointment is that they found abother blood clot in his Portal vein. He is still on blood thinners and will be for the rest of his life.
Kevin has not been able to work for months and is unsure how long he will be out of work or if he can ever work again.
Kevin has always been a very active person and this has been extremely hard on him. He would love to be able to get back to work and enjoy the many hobbies & activities he enjoys with his family.
For those of you who do not know Kevin personally, I would likd to tell you about his family. He has 2 beautiful daughters, 3 handsom step son's and is Bumpa to 2 grandson's and a granddaughter due in March. Kevin also has a Son-in-law and 2 daughter-in-laws. He is very proud of them all!
I am asking for any size donation that you can find in your heart to help with medical expenses and monthy bills that keep happening whether we are working or not.
Kevin & Kim and our entire family thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Keep them in your prayers and thoughts that he will be able to recover fully and live a normal life.
**If you would rather donate to a Wells Fargo account set up for Kevin the account is set up under Kimberly Smith. The account number is 8528882585, all funds in the account will be transferred to Kevin.
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