Advanced Heart Failure (LVH & CHF)

In December 2017 I began to experience extremely high blood pressure which caused high levels of stress, difficulty concentrating, difficulty breathing, and chronic fatigue.  After seeking medical assistance I was advised that my heart is not functioning as it should be; more specifically, that my left ventricle was working at less than 25%.  Thereafter I began taking medications to help slow the progression of the heart failure however, the left ventricle continued to decrease in function and currently I am below 20%.  In addition to the left ventricle failure I now have been diagnosed with irreversible congestive heart failure (which is a consequence of the left ventricle failure).  

I was hospitalized two times (once in January and once in February) and was not allowed to be discharged from the hospital until I was fitted with an external defibrillator, as I am in extreme danger of Sudden Cardiac Death (no warning signs like with a heart heart will just stop working).  The insurance company approved the device however, after wearing it for almost three months, we received a notice that the insurance company only pays $1300.00 per month for the lease of the device and that I am now responsible for the other $1700.00 per month fee (three months so far).  

Additionally, my medical copayments are $60.00 per visit but then my insurance only pays 50% of the remaining cost of the visit.  Currently I owe my cardiologist over $1200.00.  I was recommended for Cardiac Rehab to help strengthen my heart and improve my overall health however, required attendance is 3 times per week for three consecutive months.  Each visit has a copay of $60.00 (so $180.00 per week) and thereafter I will have to pay 50% of remaining cost.  I simply cannot afford to attend.

I currently take seven different medications twice per day.  Four of these medications are life sustaining/life saving medications which have no generics available.  As a result, after meeting my insurance deductible, I am now paying $70.00 per month per prescription.  Prior to meeting the deductible, I paid $340.00 per script per month.  The prescription copayments are putting such a toll on my family however, I need them in order to remain alive and to help slow the progression of my heart failure.

I have been out of work since December and my temporary disability has run out.  I have applied for permanent disability but have been advised the process can take up to four months and I will not start receiving monthly payments (of less than 1/3 of my normal monthly salary) until the beginning of July.  My wife works two jobs but the bills are piling up.  In addition, once my permanent disability begins, I will lose my health insurance held with my job, since I will no longer be employed.  My entire family (myself, my wife, and my son) are going to be without medical insurance of any kind.  Social Security advised me that I am not entitled to health benefits until after I have been on permanent disability for two years.  There is no way my family can afford to pay for medical insurance out of pocket and we are going to have to simply attempt to continue to pay for my care without the insurance.

On April 18, 2018 I am scheduled for surgery to implant a defibrillator which is being done so that I can discontinue the external defibrillator that costs me $1700.00 per month to wear, and so that if my left ventricle does fail without notice (Sudden Cardiac Death) I have a chance of being saved long enough to seek medical attention.  Although the defibrillator will not improve my condition, it may save my life and will hopefully put me one step closer to being approved for placement on a heart transplant list...which is my only hope of survival beyond 12 months.

The congestive heart failure and the left ventricle failure are irreversible.  Because of my inability to work, my mortgage and car payment are in danger of falling behind, my medical bills are piling up (almost $9000.00 in just coinsurance/copayments currently due), and I am not going to be able to afford the coinsurance payment for my upcoming surgery.  

Even the smallest donation will assist me in paying my mortgage (so my family has a place to live), paying my car payment (so my wife has transportation to and from work and to take me to and from doctor appointments), and paying the already astronomical medical copayments.  Anything that you can provide will be so greatly appreciated!

I thank you for taking the time to read my story.

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Dennis Dalton 
Middletown, NY
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