Wayne Pfeffer is a husband, father, grandfather, brother, software and DevOps engineer, Dungeon Master Extraordinaire (he still plays D&D with his son and his friends), and Army Veteran. About eight years ago, Wayne started feeling unwell, and the doctors and specialists he was seeing were unable to diagnose any medical conditions that could have been the cause. It took a little bit of work, but thankfully the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, decided to accept him as a patient and quickly determined he had NASH Cirrhosis of the Liver. We were told by the Mayo Clinic that Wayne would need a liver transplant in about five years.
When most people hear (Cirrhosis), they assume the person is or was an alcoholic. Nothing could be further from the truth about what caused Wayne's Cirrhosis. Sadly, NASH Cirrhosis is a disease that ex-military members are more prone to suffer from. The simplest explanation is that service members are highly active, requiring a high caloric intake. As their careers progress or upon discharge from their service, the physical demands decrease, and fatty deposits form on the liver. These deposits eventually scar the liver and lead to Cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is irreversible.
About a year ago, Wayne was offered a job that allowed him to return to a company and a team he loves. Within just a few days, the family found themselves in the local emergency room, with Wayne being taken via ambulance to a hospital in Minneapolis, MN. Thankfully, Wayne has the best manager, team, and employer. The rest of the year has been a whirlwind. Ambulance rides, ER visits, hospital stays, weekly medical appointments and labs, blood transfusions, daily antibiotics, fluid drains (Paracenteses) and infusions, GI bleeds, scopes and bandings, muscle wasting, weakness, multiple falls and even a Life Link helicopter ride down to Rochester, MN.
NASH causes insomnia, exhaustion, and pain. Most people in Wayne's medical state would have already filed for and received disability. Wayne made the conscious choice to remain working because he loves his job. That job also provides medical insurance and the finances necessary for medical care, travel expenses, co-pays, etc.
Although it's been a struggle at times, the family has been able to maintain the expenses related to ongoing treatment and emergencies. But now, the time has come when the transplant is imminent. Wayne received a call just a few days ago from the liver transplant doctor at the Mayo Clinic and was told to expect a liver to become available within two weeks. The family's savings have been depleted due to the past year's medical and related travel expenses, and they are now faced with the necessity of a hotel room for up to six weeks for transplant and post-transplant care. Basic needs of food, gas, prescription co-pays, and maintaining the expenses for the home they'll return to. Wayne's wife Jacki is his designated caregiver and will be stepping aside from her work within the glass community to assist him while he heals.
The family is incredibly thankful for any donations as they start this new journey. They understand that not everyone is in a place to help financially. Alternatively, please consider becoming a donor. It is just one little box and it is a gift of life!