W. Gottschalk's Heart Transplant

$118,441 of $130,000 goal

Raised by 301 people in 5 months
To those that know me best, it will likely come as no surprise that I am not one to openly share or discuss my ailments, burdens – nor am I one to ask for help; particularly on an online / social platform.  And for those that don’t know me as well, I tend to keep much to myself.  Unfortunately, as many of you already know, it has been suggested that I initiate a crowd-funding campaign for myself.  I have known this date was coming for the past ten years, and it scares the hell out of me, but the time has come for me to try and get a new heart.   Mine is currently operating at about 18% and its function is trending downward.
     In 2008, I somehow picked up a nasty virus that simply would not go away.  Perhaps it was one of those ‘Super Bugs’ we hear about all the time in the news.  Somehow this ‘thing’ went systemic on me and it began to destroy the ventricles in my heart. After an untold number of tests and bad diagnoses, it was determined I was in severe Heart Failure with an underlying disease called Cardiomyopathy – a weakening of the heart muscle. Essentially, the heart muscle itself no longer had the strength to pump enough blood to the rest of my body and vital organs.  This remains the case today, as there is no cure for Cardiomyopathy – only medical management. And luck.
     After a decade of enjoying varying degrees of cardiac health / function, the organ is simply giving out on me.  I’m seen by one of the best Heart Failure doctors in the country at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago and have been on great meds. I’ve had three heart surgeries and two pacemakers… They have done everything they can and have been gracious and amazingly kind in so doing.  Sadly, but predictably, the efficacy of these meds is waning and my heart simply cannot support my body in a sufficient fashion.  Last week my Cardiologist told me he was initiating the pre-transplant process, which, given the shortage of available hearts in this country, is an absurdly lengthy, arduous and pricey process.
     So, with some specifics, why the Go Fund Me campaign? The long-and-short of it is the astronomical cost of heart transplantation pre, during and post hospital procedure(s). Screenings, months-long hospital stays, organ procurement costs, anti-rejection medicines for life, support of my daughter, three surgeries, loss of wages and not being able to work… The pre–insurance fees can be well over $1.4 M.  Out-of Pocket expenses can easily reach/exceed $120,000. U.N.O.S., the United Network for Organ Sharing, has untold data on expenditures, fees and outcomes on this last form of medical treatment for patients like me.
     With all of that said, I so very much appreciate your time and any financial assistance that you may feel is appropriate, if any.  We may never know when or why our collective health can go sideways on us, but when it does, whether we are giving or receiving help, it is precisely that which keeps us human and of a community.

With immense thanks,
William F. Gottschalk
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Pre-transplant testing & diagnostics begins in earnest this Wednesday. Fingers crossed all goes quickly & smoothly !
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Hi everyone. Thought I'd give a quick update: I had a long conversation today with my primary cardiologist at Northwestern Hospital and he has prioritized me to get on the UNOS organ transplant list. I need to jump through a lot of hoops and hopefully pass a bunch of diagnostic tests first, but fingers crossed things move forward without issue or complication. More to come & so many thanks............... Bill
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One of my all time favorites !
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Great vacation a couple years ago
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$118,441 of $130,000 goal

Raised by 301 people in 5 months
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