As many of you know, for nearly three years Patty has been a pseudo mom to my three children, and to my niece and three nephews. She is patient, gracious, devoted, and above all else, she is kind. She loves the kids and we love her.
Four years ago doctors told Patty, then a 38 year-old, single mom, that she has a disease: Autoimmune Hepatitis along with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (Primary Biliary Cirrhosis). And that this disease is fatal--unless, of course, you are able to get a new liver.
It started in January, 2014 when Patty went to the doctor. She had been feeling terrible for some time with headaches, abdominal pain, and exhaustion. She was convinced she had been working too much. But after one surgery, a CT scan, an MRI, and multiple biopsies, the diagnosis wasn't that she had been working too hard. It was that she was unlucky enough at birth to have received a liver that would fail her--through no fault of her own--before her 40th birthday.
She was told she may have a few years. And that treatment could help for a period of time, but that eventually the time would come when she would need to be placed on the transplant list and hope that she wasn't too late.
That time has come.
Earlier this month Patty was hospitalized. When she was admitted, the doctors assessed her MELD (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) score to be 31. MELD is a numerical scale used for adult liver transplant candidates. The range is from 6 (less ill) to 40 (gravely ill). The average transplant patient has a MELD score of 20. She was eventually discharged, but the message from her doctors was clear: you need a new liver as soon as possible.
At this point, Patty's biggest hurdle is a financial one. While her health insurance will cover some of the costs associatied with the transplant, many costs are not, including the deductible, copays, medications, and much more. During the first year after a transplant, a patient remains at high risk for rejection, and there are many costs associated with monitoring and preventing this outcome that are simply not covered. Ultimately, after-care is crucial, and it's expensive.
Patty's transplant team has advised that she should have a large contingency fund in place which can be put towards these costs. Specifically, according to her coordinator at the liver transplant clinic, "medical testing totaling greater than $6,000 is needed to complete her evaluation. Additional funding upwards of $100,000 will be needed for surgery and post-surgery care and medications."
If you are reading this, please know that YOU can make a difference in saving Patty. Every little donation helps. A new liver will greatly improve her quality of life, and without one, she will lose her life. All donations will be transferred directly to Patty for this purpose.
Please consider taking the time to make a donation, even a small donation, so that she can continue to give back to her family, my family, the community, and ultimately, to you.
Liz (Farney) and Nick Lorenzo and the rest of the Farney crew: Bob and Martha Farney, Rebecca (Farney) and Scott Laws, Sarah (Farney) and Ian Atzet, Jenny (Farney) and Manos Koukoumidis, Rob Farney, Lia Lorenzo, Lucas Lorenzo, Finn Lorenzo, Clara Laws, Henry Atzet, Sam Atzet, James Atzet, and George Koukoumidis. We all love Patty.
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