Rufe Vanderpool suffered a massive heart attack on Saturday May 5th, just four days after his 57th birthday. Rufe had heart problems a few years ago and had stents put in his heart and, as necessary with stents, has taken blood thinners ever since. It was a wake-up call and he started exercising, eating healthy, even going through the pilot of Sentara Heart’s Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program in Virginia. Just days before the attack he visited his primary care doctor and was told his numbers were the best they had ever been.
What Happened? Rufe tore his Achilles tendon and it required surgery. After consultations with a number of doctors they agreed he could go off his blood thinners for a short time before the surgery. A typical person who has been on blood thinners for more than two years can handle this with no issues. If you know Rufe, he is not typical. Within days his stents clotted causing the attack.
What Next? His heart is damaged beyond repair so the only hope he has is to have a ventricular assist device (VAD) put in to replace the function of his failing heart. Because it is an electrical device, powered by a battery pack worn around his waist, his lifestyle will be drastically altered. No more jet skiing, crabbing in the bay or hot tubbing. But he will live! The plan is that the VAD is a temporary solution until he is fortunate enough to be the recipient of a new heart and back to the life he loves in and out of the water.
The Costs? The VAD implant and first year of maintenance is over a million dollars. A heart transplant is just shy of a million dollars. While Rufe has health insurance, we all know they do not cover all costs and with bills like this he will need help. The money you so generously donate will be used for medical expenses and everyday living expenses.
A Rufe Story! Rufe has been very fortunate in his life and career and he was generous with his time and his money. One example is his $50 Grant. He would carry $50 bills in his wallet, by the way…you know who is on the $50 bill don’t you? Ulysses S. Grant. He would watch people and if he saw someone in a low paying job, giving exceptional service, or going the extra mile he would give them a $50 Grant. If he saw people struggling and in dire need he would give them a $50 Grant. Rufe didn’t stop there, he would give friends and employees $50 bills and instruct them to give them away. He said he wanted them to learn two things. One, to be aware of those around them and really see people. The second was he wanted people to understand that giving changed the giver more than the recipient.
Thank you! We appreciate you reading this far and want to express our deepest gratitude for anything you can do to help.
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