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Renn Strong for Multiple Organ Transplant

$11,550 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 86 people in 12 months
Created July 7, 2018
My name is Jeff Bowes and I'm asking everyone to take a moment of their time to get to know one of the  best guys and friends I've ever had and his journey as of late so let's begin. Chris and Tahlia Renn are an active, happy, giving, Christian couple that have been married for almost 4 years. Chris has been my lifelong best friend, more like a brother. He has touched so many people with his positive outlook and fun loving attitude. He has always been there for me or anyone else that needed help, even if it was just to listen. He was there for me when I was facing my toughest battle through three open heart procedures. Now Chris is in the middle of his toughest battle facing three transplants.  His wife Tahlia has been there for him through everything, missing work to take him to appointments and procedures. Once he goes in for surgery she will have to be by his side 24 hours a day to take care of him. This will put her out of work for at least six months. I know a lot of people have asked what they can do. I'm asking for your donation to help give Chris the support he needs to have a long healthy life, just as he asked for me. The expense associated with these transplants including hospitalization, medications, therapy, home health care, living expenses etc., will go well into the 7 digits.

When Chris was just 19 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and had surgery to remove the cancer as well as his spleen. He was treated at Duke University Hospital with radiation to his neck and abdomen, which successfully rid him of cancer. Then he was able to live a healthy life and went on to pursue his career with Revlon Inc., where he has worked for 20 years.

Chris and Tahlia started dating in 2011. After three years they got married in Aug 2014 and enjoyed life as any newlyweds would hope to. Less than a year into their marriage Chris began to show signs of health issues. After a few months of troubleshooting with his family doctor, he was finally scheduled for an upper endoscopy in Jan 2016 . During this procedure they found that scar tissue had created a blockage in his bile ducts, going from his liver to his intestines, which ended up killing most of his liver. This resulted in many infections and complications caused by the toxins that had backed up in his system. It has been an ongoing battle since then with hospitalizations for many things including pericarditis, blood infections, multiple surgeries and procedures. On April 6, 2016 he was scheduled for surgery and had 40% of his liver removed, gallbladder and a portion of his damaged intestines. His intestines were rerouted to his liver to function as new bile ducts. He has been sent home with open wounds and biliary tubes to help his liver drain. In November of 2017 Chris started having digestive issues and found out his duodenum had closed up do to scar tissue. On November 30th he went into surgery to reroute his intestine to his stomach and bypassed the duodenum all together. Chris is still recovering and has been on and off of TPN (intravenous nutrition) because of his inability to digest food and gain weight. On New Years Eve Chris was rushed to the hospital having trouble breathing. They found a large amounts of fluid around his lung and heart which needed to be removed. 

Chris is being treated at Duke University Hospital and will receive his transplant surgery here as well. He is now going through multiple tests in preparation to receive three organs: liver, pancreas and intestines. This will require a three month hospitalization, many medications, physical therapy, home health care as well as other expenses.

Tahlia has been by Chris's side through everything. It's my hope that we can all help them through this unbelievably difficult journey. Tahlia will have to be out of work for 6 months or more as his primary care giver. Please donate to help support Chris and Tahlia as they work hard to get back to living a healthy and active life together.

www.caringbridge.org/visit/chrisrenn

Donations may also be sent to:
Chris and Tahlia Renn
915 Quail Ave
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Thank you, Jeff Bowes
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Hey! This is Tahlia Renn, Chris's wife. I have not done a update on Chris in a while and thought I would give a quick update on him.

Chris came home on March 14, 2019. He was doing fairly well we thought. Lots of appointments and running back and for. He was having PT come to the house 2x a week and a nurse coming to the house 2x a week. We were making the trip to duke at least 2x a week depending on the week. I decided to go back to work on May 6, 2019 to start having money coming in and would take off when I needed to take him to duke which I was hoping would get fewer and fewer. On May 9, 2019 we had an appointment with his gastro doctor for a routine check up and found out he lost 14 pounds in a week. He was then admitted into Duke.

He was on the floor for about 4 weeks when I finally convened the doctors to discharge him since we felt he would improve better at home (mentally & physically). On June 6th the morning of the day he was supposed to be discharged, I received a call saying he went unresponsive and his vitals had crashed and he was being intubated and taken to ICU. He spent 4 weeks in ICU where he spent most of the time intubated. He recieved blood transfusions, ended up with blood infections among other things. The underlining cause of going unresponsive was from the CO2 building up in his system. It took a long time to get those levels down, they ended up having to give him a trachea. He was released from ICU on June 4th and taken to the lung transplant floor where they have experience with trachs and where he would be on a ventilator at night.

Today is week #10 in the hospital. He is still struggling with high blood pressure, heart rate & potassium. They are giving him meds and small doses of lasix since they are still worried about his kidney's. He is still unable to walk but works with PT everyday to gain strength. He also still has his trachea and on the ventilator at night. We still have not heard anything about when he will be able to come home.

Thank you to all who continue to pray and send him positive vibes. He definitely can feel it.

I give more updates on our facebook group. If you have not already joined please feel free to find it and join. The group is called Liver & Intestine Transplant Support Group for Chris Renn. I also keep CaringBridge up to date for those who do not have Facebook. Any updates that are put in the group are then put in CaringBridge. This at least gives other options for current updates.

Thanks again for all who have helped us! This support is greatly appreciated and will help with bills. As of right now we are unsure on what the damage will be from duke with everything since he is still currently in and out. Medical portion is starting to come in. I guess we will assess the damage once he is home.

We are still living day by day and will probably be like this for a while. Continue to think of Chris and send him encouraging messages.

For those that would like to send cards our address is:

Chris Renn
915 Quail Ave
Wake Forest, NC 27587
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Hello, Tahlia here, Chris's wife. This will be the first update on gofundme since the profile was created. Sorry so much has happened since then. We would first like to think everyone who has donated thus far. It is truly a blessing. It will not only help with medical bills but will help both of us with living expenses since we will both be without a paycheck for a long time.

Update on Chris: Chris was listed on Oct 5, 2018 and on Nov 1st Chris got THE call, they found a match for the organs. We arrived at Duke University Hospital around 2:30pm and surgery started at 1am Nov 2. He was in surgery for about 15.5 hours. Surgery went well he ended up receiving 6 organs: Stomach, Liver, Pancreas, Small & Large Intestines and partial colon. Since then he has went back to the OR 3 times. 1 - to pull muscle and skin together to see if they can close him up any more. 2- he ended up with an infection and they needed to get in and clean him out and place a few drains to help rinse the area and help get rid of the infection. 3 - On Nov 28 the infection had cause the aorta to become soft and ended up having a massive bleed. They went in and had to place a stint in the aorta. Being that his organs went without oxygen for over a hour the surgeons didn't know if he would pull through. After surgery he was able to respond to my commands which was an amazing sign. Number started to look really good. He really shocked all of the doctors. We spent 8 more days in the ICU and have finally made it down to the transplant floor. Hopefully we will stay here until it is time to get discharged. We have had a lot of ups and downs but we remain positive. We are thankful for the love and support we have received from family, friends and even strangers. This helps carry us through and continue moving forward day by day.

As of today we are still working at pain management, eating and strength. Doctors are still keeping a close eye on him. We hope we have no more setbacks. Thanks again for your donation, thoughts and prayers it is doing more than you know.

I apologize for taking so long for an update it has definitely been an emotional roller coaster.
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Love is being there and letting someone know, I'm here for you
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$11,550 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 86 people in 12 months
Created July 7, 2018
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