Dad has served as a Member and Officer in the Moose Lodge, Member and past Chapter President of the Jaycees, Co-founder, Officer and Life Member of a VFW Chapter, Member and Officer of the local Air Port Authority Board and the list goes on and on...
But what many of you don't know is that my Dad is a Retired Navy Disabled Veteran. Suffering from a muscle and nerve condition believed to have been caused by exposure to toxic chemicals.
Not that long ago he was diagnosed with Leukemia and spent a year in St Louis University Hospital. Chemo and radiation treatments resulted in many side effects. He has had both hips and a shoulder replaced, numerous skin cancers removed and 6 other tumors removed. Totaling over 20 surgeries.
Mom has had a bad back for several years believed to have been caused by her many years of Nursing and dealing with over weight patients in the hospital.
While doing her work up for back surgery they found she had a liver problem and did not think she would survive the surgery. While working her up to go on the liver transplant list they found that she had tumors on her liver. They removed them by burning them off. They checked her again in 6 weeks and more had appeared. Again they removed them by burning them off. When she returned again in 6 weeks they found another one. This time they did not remove it as they felt sure that it would not be long before she would get her transplant.
While continuing to do more test for the transplant they noticed she was having a breathing problem and admitted her to the hospital for further testing and found she had a hole between 2 chambers in her upper heart. After about 10 days they released her and sent her home on oxygen. She got home on a Tuesday and on Thursday they called and said to come to the hospital they had a liver for her.
It took a solid 16 hour to prep her after dad got her there. The surgery took 5 hours and closing her up and recovery took another 3 hours.
Everything they said went great, it was a young healthy liver. She was in the hospital almost another month before she got to come home on large doses of anti-rejection meds.
Within a few days of coming home she developed tremors. They decreased the meds and changed to another type. The tremors decreased but did not go away.
In another couple of weeks they had her come back to work on closing the hole in her heart. It went really good.
The tremors continued and they sent her to see a neurologist for scans and testing. They stated that the first anti-rejection med appeared to have done some damage to the brain in the area that causes Parkinson's Disease. So, now she has Parkinson's too. They gave her some meds to combat the tremors but they will not cure them.
Some weight loss is normal with all the side effects. However, Mom lost so much she was down to under 110 pounds and was still losing about a pound a day. They finally admitted her and put a feeding tube down and kept her for a week before letting her come home with the feeding tube. Which she is still on.
Between the both of them they make from 1 to 5 trips a week to the hospital in St Louis. That is 200 miles round trip and about 4 hours driving time, every visit. The cost of gas, wear and tear on their car and co-pays are really starting to put stress on them.
Please help me to help them. They would never ask for it themselves. 100% of donations go directly to George & Linda's Bank Account.
- Lisa O'Grady
- Heather Jones
- John V.
- Betty C.
Organizer and beneficiary
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