Timothy Leslie Medical Fund
In 2013 I was an average 29 year old woman. I had a job, a condo, wonderful family, and (as any single girl would have) a cat. I was missing that one thing. That one thing everyone else around me had, love. At that point in my life I expected to become a spinster and be the fun "aunt." Just as I had given up on love, thinking I would be single forever, Tim came into my life on July 11, 2013. He changed everything and he has made me the happiest woman on the planet.
Tim and I started dating, we fell in love, moved in together, and eventually Tim proposed on June 28, 2014. I couldn't have been more excited to marry the most wonderful guy I have ever met. We were married on September 26, 2015. We were so excited to plan our future together.
Tim has a way of walking into a room and immediately making everyone feel comfortable. His smile, laugh, and goofy personality is easy to love. He is the type of guy who would do anything in his power to help others because he genuinely enjoys helping anyone and everyone. For those of us who have met him, are related to him, or are friends with him, we all feel incredibly lucky to be a part of his life.
Tim always loves to tell stories about his family. Laughing to the point of crying with his sisters Katie and Jillie. Always wanting to call his mother on the phone just to scream "MA" and then laughing hysterically with her. Tim and his dad continue to keep their relationship strong by doing all kinds of hands on projects together and then of course eating some ice cream. Tims relationship with his in- laws is just as strong. He loves visiting his in-laws so he can enjoy some popovers his mother-in-law makes him. Or maybe he loves joking around with his father-in-law. Words cannot describe how much Tim loves his family. His mother, father, 2 sisters, 2 brother-in-laws, 2 nieces, 2 nephews (and a new nephew on the way), mother-in-law, father-in-law, and wife wouldn't feel complete without him.
Tim is one of the most selfless people you could ever meet. He served our country in the Navy in Iraq and Afghanistan for 4 years. He now currently works for a Fire Protection company hoping to continue his passion for protecting others.
In January of 2016 Tim was told that he has a very rare syndrome called Hepatopulomary Syndrome (HPS) and is now required to wear oxyegn 24/7. In order for Tim's syndrome to be cured he would require a liver transplant. When we heard this news Tim and I were beyond devastated. We felt as if time had stopped and this had to be a nightmare, it wasn't real in our minds. Here we are newly married and planning our life together and then suddenly tragedy strikes.
At the age of 33 Tim is preparing himself for this major organ transplant. We are beyond blessed that my uncle Mike will be donating a portion of his liver to save Tim's life. My husband and my uncle will hopfully start this journey together at the end of October of 2016. My uncle Mike donating a portion of his own liver to Tim speaks volumes to the kind of men they both are. I couldn't be more grateful to have these men in my life.
Tim will be out of work for 3-6 months while he recovers. He will only receive 60% of his salary at that time and the operation will cost more than we could have ever expected. Insurance will only cover so much of the medical bills therefore any donation would be more helpful than you could imagine. We were not prepared for this to happen to us so quickly into our marriage. We do not even know where to start preparing ourselves to pay for the things insurance does not cover. We can't express our gratitude enough for each and every donation we receive.
Tim is the absolute love of my life and he means everything to me and his family. From the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you for helping us attain the future we had once dreamed of!
Thank you to all of you out there......
Krysten & Tim's family
Tim and I wanted to share some absolutely wonderful news.....
On September 14, 2017 at 8:00AM Tim got the call every person is desperate to get while waiting on the transplant list. He was told to come to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and get started on the prep for the liver transplant if he chose to accept the liver being offered. Tim immediately called me in a panic (as anyone would) and told me what was happening. Oddly enough I was running a bit late that morning for work and I was not far away. I raced home to find Tim standing in the kitchen wondering what he should do. The transplant team called us back and asked us what we wanted to do. We accepted the liver. We drove to the hospital, called our families, and together discussed our thoughts and fears. At the hospital we were told that the liver we had accepted will most likely not be viable due to it having some parts that were fatty. We waited and waited and expected the operation to once again be postponed. At 4:30PM the doctors came and told us they would be taking Tim to the pre-op room. I asked what for and they stated its just in case the operation is a go. at 5:00PM I was told to go into the pre-op room and once I arrived the surgeon looked at me and said its a go!!
I looked at Tim and asked him if he is ready and he, of course, snapped back with a joke but was ready to do this. His parents and siblings were there with us and my family eagerly waiting by the phone. At 5:30PM the transplant operation began.....
After what felt like an eternity I was called at 11:00PM and was told the operation was going very well and they would be finished shortly. However, at 1:00AM I was called again..... this time it was not the news I had expected. Towards the end of the operation Tim started to bleed, a lot, and they needed to continue working on him. At 2:30AM I got the final call that the operation was over but they were far from finished. Due to Tim bleeding so much they were unable to connect his bile ducts and close his abdomen and therefore he would have to have another operation and he would remain in the ICU. I stayed in Boston that night with my mother in law and sister in law. It was one of the hardest and most difficult nights I have ever endured.
The next morning I went to the ICU to be with Tim. The doctors explained what happened and that they would be operating again on him the next day. Well it turns out Tim would require 4 operations and he was intubated for 10 days. After finally being extubated Tim experienced a few more complications .... Hepatic Artery Stenting (his 5th procedure), requiring a wound vac for 2 months, requiring a feeding tube, having to be reintubated, and fianlly a Thoracentesis (his 6th procedure) due to developing a right sided pleural effusion.
He was sent home but his blood thinning levels became problematic and he had to be readmitted to the hospital. After that, he was sent to Spaulding Cambridge Hospital where he went through intense physical and occupational therapy. He developed the pleural effusion and once again was sent back to Beth Israel. They put a chest tube in and drained Tim of the fluid that built up. He and I spent Thanksgiving Day at the hospital but we were just happy to be together and we knew somehow things would get better. His father came that day and the three of us made the best of it!!
Needless to say this was an extremely emotional and physically exhausting journey for Tim. For me, words cannot describe the thoughts and feelings that my mind was riddled with. Tim is by far the strongest man I have ever met. He went through something so intense and so brutal that most would give in to the depression that can take over. Tim never gave up. He conquered the liver transplant with his amazing personality and physical strength!!
Tonight, I am happy to report that Tim is home. He has been home since November 27, 2017. He will remain on oxygen for possibly another year. His progress is nothing short of a miracle. He gets stronger and stronger as the days go on. He is stable and feeling amazing. The liver he received was from a man we will never have known but he gave Tim life and Tim is determined to live it!! He is in fact, a Christmas miracle.
During this Christmas season, Tim and I have so much to be thankful for. We are so thankful for all the doctors and nurses at both Beth Israel and Spaulding Cambridge. We are equally as thankful for all you. You have all blessed us with your kindness and generosity. Our words will never be able to describe the amount of appreciation we have for each and every one of you. You all will never know how much you have touched our hearts during the most difficult time in our life.
Thank you all so much and we wish all of you a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year!!
"Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand"
~ Dr. Seuss
Forever grateful- Timothy & Krysten Leslie
I just wanted to continue to give you all an update on what has happened in the past few weeks. Tim was supposed to have the live liver transplant operation on March 14, 2017. The day before Tim was going to be admitted to the hospital we got a phone call that has changed things for us. We were told my uncle Mike can no longer be Tims donor. There was an issue with some blood work and if they operated on Mike and Tim it would put them both at risk, so the operation is not going to happen. It took Tim and I some time to process what we were being told and we were shocked to say the least.....
What does this mean for Mike?
It means my uncle Mike can never be Tim's donor for the liver transplant. But, what this does mean is that Mike Mercier is the most amazing, selfless, generous, heroic person Tim and I know. He still was willing to give the gift of life to Tim. He and his family took so much of their time and effort to be there for us we can never ever truly show them our appreciation. So to Tim and I, uncle Mike will always be Tim's donor and hero.
What does this mean for Tim?
It means that he must wait on the transplant list for a cadaver liver. Obviously this is not the option we wanted when we started this journey last year but we have come to terms with it. Tim is actually much higher on the transplant list than we origianlly thought (due to his Hepatopulmonary Syndrome) so our wait time may not be as bad as one would think. Our hope is that in another years time Tim will have been transplanted and this whole situation will finally be behind us. We still have so much faith and hope that some day soon Tim will get the new liver and be able to breathe on his own without the use of oxygen!!!
We want to thank all of you for your continued support during this difficult time. There is absolutely no way we would get through this without the love and support from our family and friends. Tim and I are so blessed to have you all in our lives!!
Just wanted to finally give you all an update on how Tim did during his most recent procedure to prepare him for the liver transplant. As you all know Tim had to have a procedure done in October. This procedure ended up being more complicated than expected. The doctors were expecting this procedure to be a very quick recovery but Tim developed many complications including- blood clots, pneumonia, and most importantly an allergy to a blood thinning drug known as Heparin. The doctors finding out about Tim being allergic to Heparin is the most important factor in all of this because the transplant surgeon uses Heparin during the operation. Now that we know this we can use another blood thinner to make the transplant a success. It goes without saying that finding out this allergy ahead of time has already saved Tim's life. My uncle Mike is still very involved in continuing his desire to be Tim's donor which to this day just blows my mind. Tim spent a month in the hospital after this complicated procedure. The transplant surgery date has obviously been pushed out a bit further so that Tim can heal. We remain very hopeful that once the liver transplant is complete that Tim will be able to breathe on his own instead of continuing to require oxygen 24/7.
Despite all of the complications. Despite how difficult this hospitalization was, Tim remains that happy go lucky guy that can fight through anything. I can't explain how proud I am to be his wife. He amazes me everyday with how strong, motivated, and loving he is. Tim will be able to spend Thanksgiving at home which we were not expecting to happen. Our family and friends have been beyond supportive. Tim and I are truly blessed to have all of you in our lives.Thank you for all the continued support and I wish all of you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!
I wanted to just give an update on what is the latest with Tim and the transplant. Tim will not be having the live liver transplant at the end of October due to a set back with his portal vein. He will in fact be having a procedure done this Thursday, October 20th, to fix this vein. Tim's body has developed multiple shunts (3 to be exact) which are disrupting the way his blood flows. The shunts have taken and re-routed Tims blood flow which has caused his portal vein to become smaller and smaller. In order for Tim to qualify for a live liver transplant he must have these shunts turned off (or rather plugged) to increased the blow flow in the portal vein. Tim will remain in the hospital for a few days after this procedure. If the portal vein expands properly, he will then undergo many ultrasounds and CT scans to keep a close eye on this vein. Hopefully after a fews weeks of being monitored he will then undergo the transplant surgery. My uncle Mike is still very willing to provide a portion of his liver and give Tim the gift of life.
We still cannot thank all of you so much for your ongoing donations and support during this very difficult time. Tim, myself, and our families will forever be grateful to you all!!!!
Krysten and Tim: we wish the most thankful day with your family. All of our positive thoughts are with you through this journey. Keep us posted, you are special to us! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Thanks Mom for spreading the word.