At the age of six, young Tom Telego lost his father due to a health-related death. His father was only forty-six years old. Now, his mother, a middle-aged house wife, finding herself a widow without an income, had only her teenage son and daughter at home to help raise Tom.
Fast forward to fifteen years of age. Young Tom, full of life and enthusiasm, dreaming to become a fighter pilot, contracted glomerulonephritis, a kidney disease that would eventually destroy the use of both kidneys by age twenty and set him on a course of dialysis, two kidney transplants, endless surgeries, hospital visits, and three near death experiences, all from this destructive disease.
Tom dealt with kidney disease for over thirty years. During that time, Tom got married in 1997 to the love of his life, Kathy Remias. For over twenty years, the two partners struggled with Tom's health condition and the three days a week, four to five hours each visit on a hemodialysis machine that removed fluids and toxins from poisoning his body.
Recently, Tom's time was running out after he was diagnosed with severe blockages in his heart that required immediate surgery. He checked into the Cleveland Clinic for heart surgery.
Quadruple by-pass surgery was performed on December 18, 2017. The heart surgery was a success! Tom came out of surgery but the next day, he had breathing difficulties and was placed back on a ventilator. On the third day, bleeding was occurring somewhere in his body. The heart was the immediate suspect. However, after extensive testing and imaging, the heart was not the problem.
Further exploratory measures detected stress ulcers in the stomach and colon. Procedures were implemented to stop the bleeding and it seemed to work. To help his breathing a tracheostomy procedure was performed. However, there was a rupture in the intestinal area. For the coming weeks, Tom had to deal with serious internal infections, two more surgeries and pneumonia. His already compromised body was now becoming the enemy instead of a friend.
Days and weeks passed with small baby steps forward and then two or three steps backwards. The doctors just couldn't keep up with all the failures that were going on in Tom's body. They tried tirelessly to keep him alive. He struggled for 61 days, never leaving Intensive Care.
On a dreary Sunday morning, February 18, 2018, at 10:42 a.m., with his family touching and holding onto him, Tom lost his battle for survival and passed away.
With mounting medical and hospital bills, and a very strained family budget from years of fighting his battle with kidney disease, Tom's family is in need of funds to bury him and meet certain obligations not covered by health insurance.
Because of his disease at an early age, Tom could not buy life insurance because he was high risk. His only break came when he worked for the City of Niles and had group insurance. However, after going on disability, he was unable to obtain life insurance.
Tom’s extended family is assisting to defray the cost of funeral and medical expenses and we hope that the generosity of his friends, acquaintances and public will join them in this fund-raising effort. Any dollar, five dollars or any contribution will add up to help us reach our goal.
If you can help us, we express our appreciation in advance and God bless you!
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- Cedric Sr.
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