Kirk's Heart Transplant Recovery

This is me on September 11, 2017



On June 26th, 2012 I caught a flu that lasted nearly 4 months.  I had not been to a hospital since I had my tonsils removed as a 5 year old.  I was one the fortunate to never have a significant health problem until the age of 47 but this virus changed that.   The virus exclusively  attacked my heart and I was diagnosed with viral dilated end stage cardiomyopothy. 

Within 4 months my heart filled like a water balloon and become 2.5 X normal size with an severe Ejection Fraction (see Xray). 


Ejection fraction is a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving your heart each time it contracts.

Healthy hearts have a range of 55-70.  Anything under 50 is considered compromised.  Anything under 35 is considered is severe.  For the past 4+ years my EJ was 12 upon initial hospitalizaton and fell to 8 the past 2 years.  It was a mystery that I had any functionality but doctors stated I possessed adaptability.  This adaptability ended on January 5, 2018 when I awoke and couldn't take two steps without falling to the floor.  

I was officially listed as Status 1A, highest priority, on Feb 15, 2018 (see letter).


My blood type, O Positive, have an average waiting list time of 180+ days.

But......miracles happen and 4 days subsequent to my official status listing a donor heart was available to which I am forever grateful to such generous donor.  Please consider or encourage others to consider registering as organ donor if at possible.  You may give or receive the gift of life.

www.donatelifeaz.org


On Feb 19, 2018 I underwent a heart transplant (see procedure record).



My most recent echocardiogram revealed my new Ejection Fraction is 66.  A complete stranger has given me new life.  This still has my head spinning as this new gifted heart is more than 8 x physically stronger than my former heart, but pales in comparison to how much stronger my feelings are regarding donors.

I cannot express how this entire process has altered my level of compassion.

For the following 6-12 months post transplant, I am required twice daily to take countless powerful Anti-rejection Immunosuppression drugs that basically render you in home isolation as your immune system is 100% shut off so as to stem the body's natural reaction to attack the new organ.


Here is a price list on just the main Immunosuppressions I am required to take for the 6-12 months and 2 for the rest of my life.  Monthly cost is $5,000+ and I do not have Part D insurance though am receiving drug company assistance that will likely taper over time.




The medical procedure costs and ongoing post transplant drug requirements have had a severe impact on my financial situation.


Due to the immense generosity of my much appreciated donors that exceeded my initial goal, any additional GoFundMe donations will be used exclusively dto defray my "out of pocket" drug expenses that are very significant for the initial 6 month term post-transplant but are expected to taper after 6 and 12 months.

I've learned life is fragile.  No matter how hard you work out.  No matter how you feel.   No matter what you believe should happen.  

Every day is precious and should be treated as such.  Keep that in mind when a driver cuts you off in traffic or you experience with certainty that act of rudeness that occurs on a daily basis in our lives.

I can only now see the gift of life an anonymous donor provided me and I intend to live up to a standard of decency and happiness deserving of one who gifted me so much for no compensation whatsoever. 



July 7, 2017

August 31, 2017


 Post Operation February 22, 2018

Post Op Day 6

 Post Op Day 13


Primarily, I am motivated to use my story to inspire anyone not currently registered as an organ donor to consider doing so. 

www.donatelife.net


Secondarily, as I was going through the pre-transplant process, it was difficult to find accurate information with a face.  The research and information I found was more of a technical manual.  I hope my story (which has just begun) allows anyone interested to see organ donation on more personal level. 

I plan on publishing a blog within days the will cover the months, weeks, days pre-transplant and more exciting for me, the days, weeks, months that follow my new "birthday" February 19, 2018. 

I look forward to regularly posting my progress in that format in hopes of registering as many current non-donors as possible.

I ask you help me spread the word through your social media if at all possible.  


Thank you, 

Kirk Rogers

Donations ()

  • Linda Palmer 
    • $20 
    • 26 mos
  • Carlos Velasquez 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 26 mos
  • Chris Wilson 
    • $50 
    • 26 mos
  • Gabriela Velasquez 
    • $1,400 
    • 26 mos
See all

Organizer

Kirk Rogers 
Organizer
Chandler, AZ
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