My left ventricular assist device (LVAD) was implanted in October. After several weeks of painful recovery, I started to learn to live my life knowing the machine inside me and the battery pack on my side was the last ditch effort to keep me alive until I could receive a heart transplant. Over the next few months, I attempted to return to the gym to gain back the forty pounds I lost in the hospital, but it was very difficult. Florida Hospital cardiologists have repeatedly told me I am the only LVAD patient they have who lifts and exercises regularly.
I tried to do everything I could to stay healthy until transplant, but a few weeks ago my LVAD started malfunctioning, turning off and on at random. As a result, I am once again confined to the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital, hoping a heart donor will become available soon. I lost my job and am unable to work because I cannot leave the hospital. Throughout this entire ordeal, surgeries, doctors fees, lab work, prescriptions and insurance co-pays have buried me and my family in debt. The medical bills will only keep coming as I sit here waiting for a heart and continue, God Willing, post transplant. As difficult as it is for me, I am asking for help with my seemingly never ending medical expenses. This experience has taught me so much and shown me repeatedly how much love I have in my life. Seeing all the good my medical team has done for me and for others has inspired me to enter the medical field as soon as I am able to work again.
Thank you to everyone who has helped and encouraged me. I could never have made it through this without you.
- Nick Gambacini
- Maria Evans (Pajak)
- Eric Perez-Saren
- Janelle Guichard
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