She knew she had fatty liver, but had worked hard to lose weight, and yet her liver enzymes were still high. It wasn't until a visit with her son-in-law, who is an MD, that the diagnosis was made. He realized after seeing her that she had encephalopathy, a disease created when the liver can no longer process toxins, and the toxins acccumulate in the brain.
Over the course of the weeks following the discovery, it was determined that she was in non-alcoholic end-stage liver disease. As the weeks have passed, her liver has become less able to do it's job, and Susan has been in and out of the hospital. She has ascites, the accumulation of extra fluid in her abdomen, and she has had it drained once because it is so uncomfortable. She has lost much of her strength, and struggles just to get around.
Susan needs a liver transplant. Her MELD score, used to determine the severity of the liver damage, is very high at 30. At age 64, she will only be able to live with the transplant.
She has been evaluated by the transplant team in Denver. They have told her that in order to receive a new liver, she cannot have any sources of infection because she will be placed on multiple immunosuppressants so that her body will not reject the new liver. This includes cavaties, of which she has many. These need to be pulled, and she will need a couple of implants so that she has biting surfaces to chew her food. Unfortunately the dental work is expensive at an estimated $3000, and will need to be done as soon as possible.
Thankfully she has excellent health insurance. However, the cost of the drugs and copays will also add up quickly, and she will need help with these expenses as well. Her annual deductible maximum which will be met is $6000.
Susan's husband Rick works hard to support her as a maintenance worker at the City and County of Denver, but he doesn't make enough to cover the dental costs or upcoming medical copays. They have been struggling to make ends meet since she has been unable to work since September.
Any help you can give would be a blessing. She has much to live for with 14 grandchildren to read and sing to, and glory to bring to God.
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