Many years ago after a CT scan, I was told I had a fatty liver. No one ever told me the possible consequences of having it. They never recommended any lifestyle changes or informed me how that piece of information would be so crucial to where I am today.
I’ve always been “in tune” with my body and known when something wasn’t right. I went to the Dr. dutifully for my annual physical and the results always came back normal (even the liver tests). Out of the blue, my legs and abdomen started swelling significantly and I’d added 20 lbs in a 1 month period. That’s when my Dr. put me in the hospital and I was diagnosed with liver failure.
They said it was caused by Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) which had led to cirrhosis and liver failure. The weight I had put on was water weight due to the disease. They put me on high doses of diuretics, which dropped my weight by almost 60 lbs.
I was told that the only cure was to have a liver transplant. So I went through all of the rigorous testing via a local hospital that performs these types of surgeries, was deemed a good candidate, and put on the waiting list. We had OK insurance through my wife’s work as I had been laid off in September 2017 due to my job being outsourced overseas.
My wife had a good job with a lot of responsibility and she met with company ownership and management to help plan ahead for taking off a few days when/if I had my transplant. Instead of working with her, they instead terminated her and we lost not only her pay but all of our health insurance as well.
We applied for insurance on the government health care exchange but the transplant center did not accept any of the plans available on the exchange, so they took me off of the list. Even with government subsidies, the monthly premium for health insurance for me alone is almost 1/2 of what we pay for rent every month. We are now working with another transplant center that accepts our new insurance but we keep falling farther and farther in debt.
We have run through all of our life savings as well as 401ks trying to stay afloat. I have been denied Social Security Disability, even though my illness is terminal without a transplant in time. We are working with a company to file an appeal but the government moves slowly.
My wife has been unable to find a good paying job due to the fact that she has to disclose my illness. I don’t know how much longer we can stay afloat, but I trust God has a plan. We have to be able to keep this insurance and a roof over our heads. Losing the insurance would mean my time left is very short. I am a relatively young 54 and would like to think we still have many good years ahead of us if I can get a transplant and go back to work and continue to move forward with our lives.
Any and all donations to help make this possible would be appreciated beyond imagine. I feel guilty even asking as I know there are many others out there in as dire, or worse, shape than us. But I am not ready to give up the fight yet and believe I will have a chance to pay it forward at some point. My goal with this GoFundMe page is to pay for my health insurance premiums for the next year along with the out of pocket expenses.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and may God bless you.
P.S. - Organ transplants save lives. Please consider donating yours when the time comes. https://www.organdonor.gov/index.html
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