Heart transplant

In June 2017 Mark became sick with what he thought was a virus.  After multiple ER visits and hospitalizations it was determined he had an "inflamed" heart and gallbladder stones.  A surgery was attempted to remove the gallbladder, but was canceled due to his heart not being able to withstand the anesthesia due to congestive heart failure.  Another Dr and practice was consulted and hired to get control of the congestive heart failure through Dr Arie Stazkowski at Stern Cardiovascular.  He began to administer quick acting diuretics to get the fluid off.  During the diuresis, which was working quickly to minimize kidney damage and get the volume off he became obstructed with kidney stones.  Fortunately, after some fluid eviction his heart was able to withstand the anesthesia to retrieve the kidney stones, but there was complications afterwards.  He was not able to urinate on his own, and had to be catheter bagged for a total of 3 months, and another surgery to remove prostate obstruction, which also had complications of severe bleeding leading to another obstruction and surgery and still bagged.  3 weeks after bag removal and his 88 year old mother being discharged herself from a lengthy hospital stay including rehab he was back in the hospital sent from Stern to the emergency room to be admitted, While there he was diuresed again, and given iv milrinone to contract his heart until a hickman line was inserted to deliver the medicine via an external pump.  Again he had something hanging out of his body just to survive, He also had complications of bleeding from the hickman insertion, and due to a recent cardiac cath stent insertion they wanted him fitted for a life vest due to ventricular tachycardia that could cause a fatal sudden cardiac arrest. The vest would deliver a shock to put the heart back in normal rhythm, until a biventricular pacemaker could be inserted.  During that hospital admission Mark was diagnosed with Advanced Heart Failure, and was discharged from the hospital on Thanksgiving eve with a milrinone pump attached to him.  A week later after being sick and hospitalized herself several times during this his mother passed away leaving him the only person left in his family of origin.  After laying her to rest and being so sick himself with the added help of  his so Amanda a 2nd opinion was sought thru the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation to Vanderbilt University Heart Institute for advanced heart and congestive heart failure patients, which also houses the heart transplant/lvad team of Dr's and nurses, which is #1 in the state of Tennessee and #2 in the nation for advanced heart failure patients.  While waiting for some stabilization and more hospital stays to achieve that, and one hospital stay to insert the biventricular pacemaker with a back up defib, which also had bleeding complications we finally had a small opening to get the appointment for the 2nd opinion in Nashville when following up with Dr Yusuf at Baptist East in Memphis, TN.  From that follow up appointment we were hospitalized one more time to get fluid off, and had our 2nd opinion appointment scheduled 2 weeks later.  We saw the medical director of the Heart Transplant/LVAD clinic who told Mark he was a very sick man and was immediately admitted into Vanderbilt.  Optimum health had to be obtained and while the Dr's and nurses were diligently working on that he was also being evaluated and worked up for a LVAD, which is a mechanical heart pump and also a heart transplant.  A LVAD is a Left Ventricular Assist device (pump) attached to the left ventricle of the heart with a drive line attached to the actual drive outside of him.  This device can be used either as a bridge to transplant or as a destination if not eligible for a transplant.  At the present he has a LVAD which requires closely managed care and also he has to be constantly connected to source of power through a special cable that is plugged into the electricity of the wall or plugged into batteries when going out.  He has to clear up an infection before he can be listed on the transplant list, and has to maintain optimum health in the meantime.  There are so many other things involved in his care that cannot be listed here, and because of that medical bills after insurance are left sitting piling up, and the costs involved of travel, food, medical supplies, medicines, blood test some of which are done once a week or more the financial help is needed to help pay for this live saving device and subsequent care involved, which does not at this time even include transplant costs would be so much appreciated and reduce some of the stress of getting medical bills and other bills associated with that paid off.  We appreciate all the prayers, calls, texts, support from family and friends it has meant so much.  Thank you so very much...Mark and Amanda
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Amanda G Morisch 
Memphis, TN

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