36 Year Old Father In Need Of Heart Transplant

                                                                                                      Day 59 After Transplant  May 3, 2019 
Thomas is home and doing well. He goes back for appointments at least once a week. He shows no sign of rejection, praise God! Thomas is having some issues with his kidney function please pray for improvement in his kidneys. He is walking more and getting out some which helps to pass his time. He is getting stronger every day .                                 
Thomas has his new heart, for the first time in his life he has a good normal heart. His new heart will allow him to do whatever he wants and will take him where ever he wants to go. I want to thank the family who so graciously gave of their loved one to save our sons life.  Thank you your gift will never be forgotten.
As you pray for Thomas and his family please include this other family in your prayers as they suffer great loss yet gave the gift of life to others. 

We have created this GoFundMe because I am in need of a heart transplant. This is something that has added a lot of stress and worry to my life. My parents are helping manage this campaign to take some of the stress off of me. We are going to show where your donations are going with updates. We are also giving a starting point of where the money will be going.

In 1982 I was born in Ohio with a heart condition, called Transposition of the Great Vessels. Simply put, while in the womb, the heart develops backwards, (blood from the body gets cycled back to the body and blood from the lungs cycles back to the lungs). The blood is not able to transfer from one side of the heart to the other, making it so that the body does not get oxygen. A couple hours after I was born I was transferred to MCO in Toledo, Ohio. They did a Heart Catheter and put a hole in between the two sides of my heart to allow the oxygenated blood to mix with the blood that wasn’t oxygenated. It was a temporary fix until I grew strong enough to have surgery to fix it permanently. At 7 months old I had open heart surgery where Dr. Davis, at MCO, built a bridge between the two sides of my heart for the blood to mix.

As a child my parents and I never let Dr. Hennessey (my cardiologist) deter me from being a “normal” kid, even though his suggestion that I avoid most activities that would cause me to exert myself was what he thought best for my situation.  Honestly, I am just stubborn that way.  You tell me I can’t do something, and I will do everything that I can to prove you wrong.  I played outside with the neighborhood kids. The normal Red Rover, Tag, Dodge Ball, Skateboarding and Roller Skating. At the age of 5 I became the batboy for my older brother’s baseball team. I was a batboy for my older brother for 2 years. At the age of 7, I started playing baseball with my older brother. I was playing in a 10-12 year old league.  During this time I was having issues staying active due to my exertion raising my heart rate up too much, which caused me to get blue around the mouth and pass out. My parents would take me to the hospital during these spells, but during the ride to the hospital my symptoms would disappear. This frustrated my parents because they knew there was something wrong but the doctors couldn’t find anything.

At the age of 10, Dr. Hennessey at MCO suggested that my parents send me to Dr. Dick, an arrhythmia doctor at University of Michigan. Dr. Dick at U of M put me on a treadmill to see what was going on with my heart. I started running on the treadmill, my heart rate went up, as expected with exertion, but then, without me missing a step, flinching, or having any external reaction, my heart rate dropped to such a low level that it caused me to have a blue spell. Dr. Dick stopped the test and after a few more tests sat down with me and my parents to tell us that because of the open heart surgery that I had at 7 months old that saved my life, my natural pacemaker was not functioning properly. Dr. Dick continued by letting us know that an artificial pacemaker would help keep my heart rate from dropping unexpectedly during physical activities, which, in turn would keep me from having the blue spells. He also warned us that someday my heart might get weak and need to be replaced, because the side of the heart doing most of the work getting blood to my body was not made to pump blood through the body and had to work twice as hard.

I had the pacemaker put in at the age of 10. A year later I had to have it replaced because one of the wires that connected the pacemaker to my heart became disconnected from my heart. During all of this I continued to play baseball for one of my school’s team and continued to be a “normal” child. I still didn’t let it get me down. Even when my family went to Disney World in Florida while I had stitches, I still enjoyed the vacation and did everything the other kids in my family did. At the age of 15, my family moved to North Carolina. My care was transferred to Duke Hospital with Dr. Canter. A short time after moving to NC, it was necessary for me to have another pacemaker installed. Dr. Canter and his team took over my care and provided the kind of care that only one of the top children’s medical centers could give.

At the age of 25, I had my son Cooper. He has been the best part of my life. We are very similar; he is my little mini me.  We love to wrestle around and run through my apartment with the Nerf guns shooting at each other.  We also spend time going camping and hiking.  As he has gotten older he has started taking after me when it comes to a love of video games and creative expression. We play Minecraft together and he helps when I make ideas for games to create.  He has even started to write books at the age of 9.  We are excited and proud of his writing ability and have high hopes that he will publish them. Since he has been tall enough to sit properly on my bike, he has enjoyed riding on the motorcycle with me. He is in Academically Gifted classes and I encourage him to do his best.  In case you can’t tell, I am extremely proud of him.


At the age of 29 I married Sue. She is a very special person and is great with Cooper. She has been there through at least one pacemaker surgery and lovingly helps raise Cooper. Sue and I ride motorcycles together and enjoy seeing the back roads of our state. Sue has been by my side while I have been going through everything and will be by my side through it all. I do love and appreciate her.

During all of this I have refused to sit back and let the world pass me by. I have had multiple pacemaker surgeries throughout my life, yet I have continued to live my life.

I have trained in Tae Kwon Do, went through school and received my EMT certification, work in a hospital as a Security Officer, and graduated with an Associates of Science in Game Design.
That being said, I started having some unusual (for me) health problems recently, and when I went to my doctors at Baptist Hospital, we were given the news that I am now in heart failure and need to get a heart transplant. This came as somewhat of a surprise to me because I thought the heart failure was going to happen when I was older, not when I was only 36.  I am still doing what I can to enjoy life. I am still riding my motorcycle and continue to work in the security department at the hospital, although, I have had to switch positions and am now a dispatcher for hospital security. Of all people in my life that this will affect, my wife and Cooper are the ones that I wish didn’t have to go through all of this.  I worry most about what will happen to my son if something goes wrong and I don’t come out the other side of this.

We have started this GoFundMe to assist Thomas and his family with the medical expenses leading up to his heart transplant and to help him make it through the 6 or more months he will be off work after his transplant surgery.  Here is how you can help him by donating to assist him in covering the cost of the following expenses:

Health Insurance -$1,500.00 per month (While off work his insurance will NOT be partially paid by his employer)

Copays and Medicines - $600.00 per month

Rent - $650.00 per month

Electric - $ 120.00 per month

Phone - $120.00 per month

We will be posting regular updates and information on his progress and how your money is being used. We would appreciate any help you can give.
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Patty Edens 
Kernersville, NC

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