Save Sandflea

$50,533 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 345 people in 45 months
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MD
Michael Dawes
on behalf of Pat Madden
 VICTOR, ID
Alejandro Vega Cruz "Sandflea"  needs a new heart valve.  Sandflea is 44 years old and this will be his 3rd openheart surgery.  We are going to bring him to the Cleveland Clinic for this operation.  The surgery is scheduled for June 3rd 2015.

For all of you that have ever spent anytime with Sandflea, you know how generous he is, now it is our chance to give back

"It’s ironic. The man with the biggest heart of anyone I know needs a new heart."

-RA Beattie 

Please help!!
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We just wanted to give everyone an update on Sandflea and how he has been doing since he left the Cleveland Clinic. Since our last update Sandflea wore a heart monitor back in Holbox for 6 weeks and had the results analyzed by the clinic. Additionally we purchased an INR machine which will allow Sandflea to test his own blood in Holbox with the intentions of hopefully avoiding any potential emergency situations. Sandflea will be returning to the Cleveland Clinic within the next 6 months for further evaluation and follow up on both heart valves that are not functioning properly. In the meantime we have set up a bank account at the Cleveland Clinic under Sandflea's name and the excess funds from the Go Fund Me site that were raised along the with anonymous donation that doubled the funds raised by the site are waiting for him upon his return.

Sandflea had this to say about how he has been feeling recently:

"After I left the Cleveland Clinic I was feeling some days good and some days I feel like have some little air in My Chest. I'm a diet and walking 30 or 40 minutes a day on the Beach. I'm still in the school teaching and guiding but when I guide one of my fly fishing guides come with me to pole the boat and carry the coolers, I'm in the boat to help the clients to point fish and leaders and flies. Words can not express how grateful I am for everyones continued support and generosity and I look forward to returning to the Cleveland Clinic, Thank You"

Thanks to all for the support
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Sandflea was released from Cleveland Clinic and allowed to travel back to Isla Holbox with a heart monitor. Sandflea's situation is a little more complex than first thought. Eventually he is going to need a 3rd aortic valve replacement and a likely mitral valve replacement. The team from Cleveland Clinic is going to take a more conservative approach, which is a good thing.

Combined with the generous funds that everyone contributed, we have secured an incredible gift from an anonymous donor who will be covering all of Sandflea’s additional costs and expenses for this first visit beyond the Go Fund Me campaign.

We are going to put this site on hold until we get more information regarding the next steps. We hope that when this time comes and our friend is in need again; we can continue to support him through this journey!

Sandflea expressed his gratitude for all of your support below:

"My very dear friends and family,

This has been a big adventure for me… After so many tests, learning every time more details about my condition and how to get in the best shape possible for what comes next, I am amazed at the doctors and the staff of the Cleveland Clinic that are getting me through this.
But the best of it all is knowing that I am not alone… All of you are there with me, and by your support, your prayers and donations you have given me more hope and love for life than ever.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to each and every one of you and how touched I am by your generosity.
Just know that here in Holbox you will always have a friend who will welcome you with open arms anytime.
Thank you again a million times!
Mr.Sandflea
Alejandro Vega"

Below is a summary of the findings after 3 weeks at the Cleveland Clinic

· Sandflea had an extensive cardiac evaluation that included an echocardiogram, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), and echocardiogram before and after exercise, and a cardiac catheterization with direct measurement of pressures in different chambers of the heart. He was also discharged with an event monitor that will record his heart tracings for the next 4 weeks, and features a button he can press when he has any symptoms of chest discomfort.

· The final evaluation revealed that he has moderate aortic stenosis and moderate mitral stenosis, both the result of rheumatic heart disease

· The leaflets of his prosthetic aortic valve moved fairly well—the stenosis is due to tissue overgrowth around the valve which happens commonly

· His overall heart function was relatively well preserved, except for his left atrial function which was quite compromised due to his mitral stenosis

· His degree of valvular heart disease was not sufficient to justify the risk of a 3rd surgery at this point

· He will be reevaluated at the Cleveland Clinic in 6 months to 1 year, or sooner if any of his symptoms worsen.

· It is likely that he will need one or both valves replaced in the future, though how soon that will become necessary is hard to predict.

As Sandflea stated, words cannot express how grateful we are by everyone’s generosity, concern and support.

THANK YOU
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Below is an update from Brett McCrae who was with Sandlfea for his cardiac catheterization procedure last week, there are more tests to come this week and we are hoping they will continue to be positive. We will know more by the end of the week and will post additional updates. Words can not express the generosity that has been shown for Sandflea, thank you.

"Sandflea has had another busy day at the Cleveland Clinic. First thing this morning doctors performed a cardiac catheterization revealing that his heart valve is in better shape than expected. More insight into Sandflea’s current condition and symptoms will only help in developing an optimal care plan. He will undergo further testing next week, and we'll provide additional updates.

Because of his catheterization Alejandro wasn’t allowed to eat for almost 24 hours starting Sunday evening. Needless to say he was thrilled when the staff informed him that food was on the way. Despite his high hopes for a New York strip or a ribeye, they gave him one, single, plain, grilled chicken breast.

Sandflea is resting comfortably and is feeling very much like himself. Every nurse leaves his room laughing and has been invited to Holbox. It sounds like some of them are planning on taking him up on his invitation. Elia is doing great as well – showing Sandflea all kinds of funny videos, texts, and emails of support from Holbox and caring for him in so many great ways. It’s amazing (and not at all surprising given the person he is) to see all of Holbox and so many friends and strangers elsewhere pulling for him. He wants to thank everyone for all of their thoughts, prayers, and support!"
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Words cannot describe the response to the start of this campaign. All supporters have been overwhelmingly generous. Thank You!! While we have had an incredible start, we still have a ways to go. Please feel free to continue to share this campaign and keep paying it forward. Sandflea will travel to the Cleveland Clinic on May 27th to start preparation for his surgery on June 3rd. We will continue to update the facebook page below throughout the process. Please send along your good thoughts!!

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

https://www.facebook.com/SaveSandflea
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Read a Previous Update
Lahrae Pshigoda-Adams
45 months ago

Safe journey, sorry for the misspelling.

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Lahrae Pshigoda-Adams
45 months ago

Sage journey Senior Sandflea! We're all thinking of you!

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$50,533 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 345 people in 45 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created May 18, 2015
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ID
$500
Ian Davis
44 months ago

Get well mi Amigo! Ian Davis from Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures

JG
$100
Joel Gonzalez
44 months ago

Mis mejores deseos y espero algún dia poder pescar contigo las hermosas aguas de Holbox

$5
Anonymous
44 months ago
MB
$50
Marie-Christine Boily
45 months ago

Estoy pensando en ti Ruso y te envio buenas ondas! Maria-Cristina :)

$25
Anonymous
45 months ago
Lahrae Pshigoda-Adams
45 months ago

Safe journey, sorry for the misspelling.

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Lahrae Pshigoda-Adams
45 months ago

Sage journey Senior Sandflea! We're all thinking of you!

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