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Ralph Smith Medical Expenses/ HVAC Unit

$1,195 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 13 days
Ralph is a pastor, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and a Veteran. 3 weeks ago, Ralph was babysitting his three grandkids when he had an upper GI bleed. EMS was called and Ralph was taken to UNC Hospital by ambulance. Since then, he has been hospitalized due to low platelet counts. He was sent home after a week but developed a bad cough. When he went to the Urgent Care a day and a half after being sent home from UNC, the Urgent Care did X-Rays and checked his blood counts. They quickly sent him by ambulance to the closest hospital where his platelet counts had dropped to 7K (normal range is 150K to 450K). Within a few hours, he was transferred back to UNC Hospitals where he has remained for the last two weeks with high risks of spontaneous bleeds. 
Ralph has received many transfusions, medicines to help his body produce platelets, and IVIG treatments to help treat ITP. Unfortunately, his spleen is also playing a big role in everything. Today, they have decided that they need to proceed with ways to fix the spleen (either radiation or doing a spleen embolization). 
While Ralph has been in the hospital, his wife has been by his side day and night. She went home to pack clothing and found that their heating unit had gone out. Their son had someone come look at it, only to find out that the whole unit needed to be replaced. 
Between 3 ambulance rides in 3 weeks, and all but 2 nights of the last 3 weeks in a hospital having tests, medication, and blood transfusions, along with his wife living out of a hospital for 3 weeks, and having to replace the HVAC, Ralph and Kathy could use your help! 
We are trying to raise enough money to cover the HVAC unit so they do not have to go home to a cold house. We would also like to alleviate some of the medical expenses, food, parking, and gas costs that have occurred and will continue to occur during this long hospital stay. His platelets are still at a dangerously low level so he will be in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time. Thank you for all your help. I know they appreciate it!
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Ralph has now been in the hospital a total of 27 days since Feb 18th (and counting). Hi sorry platelets have come up to 24k so we are cautiously optimistic about the fact that MAYBE they have finally figured this thing out. He has developed antibodies that are not only eating donated platelets but also destroying the one he has made. On top of that, he has now developed an antibody that is “eating” his red blood cells. They have him on extremely high doses of iv steroids. He will remain on the IV steroids through today and then be given a lesser dose for the next several weeks by mouth. This has caused his glucose levels to rise above 300 at times so he is requiring extra insulin. The doctors feel these steroids will do the trick in getting rid of the antibodies and allowing him to get back to safer platelet counts, red blood and even white blood cell counts (all three are very low). Continue to pray that the steroids will knock this out and the numbers will continue to rise. His liver functions are looking great for all he has been through. SO, that has been a blessing. Pray for protection of husband liver and for no additionally GI bleeds!
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Ralph has been readmitted back to the hospital. His platelets have once again dropped to 5k. Please pray for the doctors wisdom in finding a way to not just get them up temporarily but to find a fix for the long term.
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God is good! We have had a company who has donated the HVAC AND Installation costs. I have adjusted the total goal to $6,000 which is the total that Ralph has currently in medical bills from the last GI bleed he had. He has not received the bills yet for any of the hospital stays over the last 3 weeks. Before those bills come, we would love to help him get caught up on the past medical bills. Thank you for all your support!
Please keep praying. He will be going every few days for blood work to keep a ​check on the platelet levels and he will go to his liver doctor Tuesday to determine what the next steps will be with the spleen. Thank you for your prayers!
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Yesterday, Ralph came home from the hospital. He will have many upcoming doctors appointments and they will have to keep a close eye on his platelet counts. The plan is still to do some sort of procedure on the spleen but the doctors have not decided yet if they plan to do a spleen embolization or radiation treatments to the spleen. That all depends on how high his platelets can get since any surgical procedures require a minimum of a 50k platelet level. He has not been at that level at all over the last three weeks. Please keep praying for him and his wife, Kathy, as they drive back and forth to meet with different doctors and have lab work done. The VA is about an hour from their home and the VA where his liver doctor is at is even further. Also, pray now that they are home for their heating situation to be resolved quickly.
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$1,195 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 13 days
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SF
$25
Susan Fry
10 days ago
PW
$100
Patricia Ware
10 days ago
DC
$50
Deborah Callicutt
11 days ago
DG
$100
Don/Carla Gilbert
12 days ago
$20
Leticia Degaetano
12 days ago
$40
Anonymous
13 days ago
$25
Brandon Davis
13 days ago
MA
$100
Mark & Beth Agan
13 days ago
BT
$100
Bob & Cheryl Torrence
13 days ago
$100
Amy Whitt
13 days ago
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