Phyllis's Lung Transplant Expenses

$2,100 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 43 months
Five years ago Phyllis Richard's and her daughter Tina Krieg went to what they thought was a routine doctor visit for a dry cough. That day their family's lives were shattered as the doctor said Phyllis had 2 years to live. They left that visit in shock and disbelief. Their hearts were broken.
Phyllis was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. This is and incurable disease that hardens the lungs.  The only chance for survival is a lung transplant. 
Immediately the family chose Jewish Hospital in Louisville Kentucky to start the long and painful process of getting on the transplant list. After 3 years of waiting and deteriorating health, Phyllis was finally put on the list. Then the testing began with numerous 150 mile roundtrips to Louisville, doctor visits, hospital stays and lots of sleepless nights. 
Today she is 5 years out from that diagnosis. Today she is first on the list to recieve a lung in her blood type. Her team of doctor's says her transplant could be as soon as 2 weeks. They also say that if in six months this does not happen she will lose her fight with this horrible disease. 
We are telling you all of this because we are dear friends of Tina, Phyllis and her family. As we all know expenses in dealing with such a debilitating disease are numerous. Any amount you can find in your heart to donate will help tremendously. Endless trips and time off work have already taken a toll. God has already blessed this family by having Phyllis as a part of it. They hold fast to their faith that He will allow them to keep her in it. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this story. If you are not able to donate we ask that you keep Phyllis in your prayers. 
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Hello all. My heart has been so heavy this week. Last week things looked promising when we left Jewish. Moms tests where far from good, but put us into a few days of peace anyway. This week some changes have occurred and no matter how hard we search they are unexplainable. Physically mom had a CT done Tuesday and it showed no changes in the IPF. But this week she is so very weak and feeble. Most of the time she is so pale. Her oxygen is dropping like it was prior to the transtracheler cath again. It bought us maybe two weeks healthy sat levels. BUT sadly now she is bottoming out on her oxygen levels and is just down right exhausted. I am afraid she is mentally wearing down as well. Her lungs are failing, so is her faith. Mine is being tested. I comfort her as much as I can. Today as much as I fought it I could not help but cry in front of her as I caressed her head so that she would calm down and breath. She told me that I was her first greatest thing that ever happened to her.. Jen and I spoke tonight and we know in our hearts that things are really bad. We talked to Jewish they have no reason to hospitalize her at this time which is fine she can rest better hear. The disease is just wearing her out..Imagine feeling like a marathon runner 24 hours a day...not catching your breath, your heart racing just attempting to catch a nice breath of air. She panics so much and we really have to try to slow her breathing. We really need that transplant..I want to believe this will happen. But reality is starting to set in....there is a chance she will weaken so much that she will be kicked off the list or her match will not be found. I do not mean to sound bleak. I want to prepare myself incase things do not work out. To see her suffering just to breath sucks so bad. My poor sweet Mom does NOT deserve this. I would do anything to take this away from her. Life is so hard..this roller coaster ride is the worst ride ever!!
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Hello everyone! This week has been yet another "new" normal for our family. This normal is almost comparable to walking across a frozen unfamiliar body of water. Sometimes things feel as if the ice is solid and strong, the next step you may hear a crack in the ice and suddenly the "fear of the unknown" is back. The first part of the week with Mom's new transtracheler cath was really good!! I was able to work at the winery yesterday and boy did it feel so good to just have a "normal" 8 hours of that day. Mom is also learning how to cope with home care nurses, aides, therapists of all kinds paying visits to our home. I know at first she felt odd about this. But this week this is yet another "new" normal. I actually think she is adjusting and even enjoying them. Every single person who has walked thru our door to help have been simply fantastic! Thank God for this program through PCMH! Last night at this time I was struggling to calm Mom down again due to the fact that she was not breathing great again. She was coughing so bad as well. I thought here we go again, another hospital stay...but today we figured it out! Her Transtracheal cath was blocked. She showed me how to clean it and after cleaning it she was breathing better yet again. Her physical therapist said from a week ago at this time Mom was doing lots better with her stamina. I am learning to not get to comfortable with each "new normal". Because at this time things could change in a literal heartbeat. Plus we have not even had her transplant yet. I KNOW that we will also be on post transplant ride from hell yet again. When she gets her lungs it will fix her pulmonary fibrosis but we will be facing other things. At this point we will take it though..I need my Mom. I maybe 45 but she is my everything. I have always been so needy and protective of her. We will fight this together.. Once again I want to take time to thank everyone who bought shirts, donated, prayed, called brought food, visited..wrote cards. These gestures have REALLY HELPED MOM keep her spirits up thru this journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
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Todays update is almost hard to believe! As you know Mom had a procedure done yesterday called a transtrachel cath. This device is similar to a trach but is a very tiny hole that contains a cath that goes straight to her lungs. With this it has helped her breath so much better! She is on 4 liters at rest when before she was on 6-8. Before the procedure when she would move she would have to lug around the HUGE tanks because her saturation would bottom out BAD! She was on 10 to 15 liters of oxygen. NOW she is on 6-7 liters when she moves!! She is able to maintain a 90% sat! This has been so hard to believe! Although she still bottoms out when she moves some, she is rebounding quicker now. All day I kept checking her sats to see for sure if this was so! We neither could get over it!! Now our goal is to get her stronger! I started today. Instead of waiting on her hand and foot, I let her make her plate. I also had her fold some laundry. She is still very weak and groggy. Which I am pretty sure it is from her new medicine. Last week they started her on a mild anti anxiety pill so that she would not panic like she was. This panic can cause her harm, because she would almost hyperventilate. This can cause stress on her heart and lungs. We do not want that. The new med has made her tired but I told her that it made her "nicer"!! LOL she is just so laid back! Normally she has what I call tizzies. Unfortunately I have learned this trait from her, I too have my tizzies when stressed :) thank God for Lexapro! Any way today was one of the nicest days that we had in a while! We both where relaxed. The worst thing that happened is I ruined my phone by accidently washing it in the wash! But it was replaceable. I am learning do not sweat the small things..it is not worth the energy. Like our I said above our next step is to get her strengthened and find her match. This week we will be seeing our visiting nurse, therapists, and nurses aids again. I am so thankful for them now. It is nice to know they will check on her often and report back to Jewish. With a very thankful heart I think I will hit the hay tonight! Good night and THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE PRAYERS!! THIS MEANS SO MUCH!!
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Tomorrow we will be heading to U. of L. to finish Moms procedure (transtrachlear cath). As I wrote last week this possibly could help Mom breath better. Possibly raising her oxygen levels 30 to 50% on less oxygen. This could possibly get her out of the house again for the time being! Just being able to go grocery shopping again by herself again would be a blessing. Honestly even though the cath is not complete, she really does seem as though she is breathing better. I sure hope this helps her get moving again. Although so far this week she is moving lots better. We started having a visiting nurse, a nurses aid and a r therapist and a occupational therapist come in to help her get her "normal" back. All of this will determine how well she will recovery when the big surgery comes. By the I would like to take this time to thank Perry County Memorial Hospital for ALL of the nice people that they sent to our home this week. These services gave me a little more piece of mind because they checked her vitals daily and was just down right kind to her! I won't go into detail again but I will say that I sure wish that big city hospitals knew how to offer the kindness that our local doctors and nurses do! ! PCMH you all rock!!!
Anyway back to Mom I pray that everything goes smooth for her tomorrow. I hope that I can get on here and tell you all great news without any hiccups!! God bless all!
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Read a Previous Update
Carole Gibson Morton
43 months ago

I had a double lung transplant 12 years ago at IU/ Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and still going very strong. I do not have diabetes and most people do not develop diabetes from the prednisone (steroid). Hopefully, she won't develop it and can enjoy a very normal life after transplant.

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$2,100 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 47 people in 43 months
Created July 16, 2015
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MD
$50
Mary and Rob Dauby
42 months ago

Continued thoughts and prayers.

BS
$25
Brenda and Roy Stutsman
43 months ago

Prayers for the Family

PR

Sending more prayers daily with lots & lots of love.

HR
$25
Holly Rainey
43 months ago

Continued prayers and love!

SH
$25
Susan Heck
43 months ago

Continued prayers for your mom and you, dear Tina!

$50
Keith & Roxanne Rust
43 months ago

Continued prayers for Phyllis and family..

$50
Anonymous
43 months ago
Carole Gibson Morton
43 months ago

I had a double lung transplant 12 years ago at IU/ Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and still going very strong. I do not have diabetes and most people do not develop diabetes from the prednisone (steroid). Hopefully, she won't develop it and can enjoy a very normal life after transplant.

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