Phil's Journey

My name is Phillip Hughes, I am 34 years old and I suffer with congestive heart failure.  It started about three years ago, perfectly healthy, in school and at the head of my class in becoming an occupational therapist.  I was on my way and suddenly without warning, as I was having a great time with my sister and friends one weekend, the pain entered my chest and I found myself at the Regional Medical center.  After a few days in intensive care, I was diagnosed with CHF.  I went through several doctors and different medicines to bring my blood pressure under control and to stabilize my heart on this visit, and we thought it had helped my condition.  But I soon found myself in and out of the hospital because of strokes and I even lost my vision for a week or so.

I had a great doctor, Dr. Bruce Steinhauser, former CMO for the Regional Medical Center,  who worked with me continually to help me find relief from the strokes that seem to come on a regular basis.  My father died at age 43 from the same illness, and so I was told it was hereditary. 

I found my help after about two years; it was Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville Tn.  I was referred by my cardiologist.  I went to Vanderbilt for a just a doctor’s visit, to see if I could be helped, but to my surprise I was told that if I left the hospital without surgery I could die before I got back to Memphis.  My heart was clotting and I was losing my battle.

My mother was with me on this visit, and we stayed while they ran other tests and it was determined that I needed a new heart and fast.  A heart and money became a big problem, because I had neither.  I was told about a new procedure that could help me while I waited to go on the heart transplant list.  This procedure was called a left ventricular assist device or LVAD; it allows my heart to pump with the assistance of a battery pack.  I stayed in the hospital two weeks and lived in a hotel for four weeks while I received rehab.  My mother stayed with me and we receive help from family and friends with hotel and food accommodations.

I travel to Nashville each month to get checked out, and now I am a prime candidate for a heart transplant.  I’m told that my cost would be about seven thousand dollars and my insurance.  I do have insurance but I don’t have seven thousand dollars.  I am asking you to help fund me through this website so that I can get back a life of normalcy.  I am father and I would like to be around to raise my children and give candy to my grandchildren.  Whatever your monetary gift, believe me it would be appreciated.


Phillip E. Hughes
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Phillip E Hughes 
Memphis, TN
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