My friend Todd needs a new heart. His heart is jacked up. Literally, it’s broken. And it needs to be replaced. Like, today.
This is his dog Riley. We’ll get to her in a minute (but in the meantime, I’m using her to keep your attention, because (1) she’s adorable and (2) it’s really important that you keep reading).
I know Todd the same way I know most people: randomly. Now I just think of our friendship as serendipitous. And important. I don’t say that lightly.
Long story short: Todd had a heart attack in December 2013.
Did I mention he and I are the same age? WTF.
Like a lot of us self-employed artist types, Todd was playing the waiting game for the Affordable Care Act and came up on the “oh shit” end of the deal. But, he went back to work. And, the new laws went into action.
In early September, he went to see his cardiologist because he wasn’t feeling so well. It is really the worst, since he followed all of the recovery rules. They told him his numbers were bad.
He hasn’t left the hospital since.
He needs a heart before they can let him go. He needs a heart before he can even get out of the bed.
So, he waits. Medicaid gave him a swan port (look it up) and he’s a 1A on the mother list of transplants. Overachiever—for sure. He’s a good candidate for a lot of reasons, but still… no hearts available. A few days ago, because he felt sluggish, a badass nurse pulled rank and had him rushed down the hall for a balloon pump (look it up). Todd knows for sure that a smart nurse and some helium are the reason he’s still alive.
“I continue to wait for a transplant, tied to a bed and using a catheter and bed pans to do my ‘business’. Hopefully a heart will come soon. Waiting for a new heart is, in itself, weird because it means for me to live someone has to die. I’ve only been able to come to terms with this through prayer and the idea that I will help small part of that person to continue living within me.”
Yep, that’s some real stuff.
So, even if he gets a heart today, we’re talking about a 12-hour surgery, three weeks in recovery and months at home with his mother. He won’t be able to drive his car for a long time. And he’ll be on food stamps. Then, it will be another 18 months (at least) before he’s able to start living his life again on his terms and at his speed. While all of that is going on, he’s going to get disability. And I’d tell you how LITTLE it is, but you’d fall out of your chair and stop reading before you get to the good part. Let me just tell you it’s not enough.
This could easily be you or me.
And, I’ve really never felt more helpless.
In the meantime, there are deductibles and co-pays and tests and then he has to pay for the doctor’s to fly to get the heart. There are doctor bills, and drugs to make sure the heart doesn’t suck once it’s in (which will easily be $2,500 per month), and there’s rehab… oh, and like I said, he’s self-employed which means all of this is compounded by the fact that he’s in it alone. And this is going to be what I like to call a “two comma situation”. And that’s where we come in.
Riley needs her dad. (In case you forgot how cute she is, I’m adding more photos below.)
And we need our friend. And some little kids need their uncle. And for the love of all things, people need good hair color.
And I’m more than certain the nurses are ready to get him out of there.
So, will you help? Please. Any amount would be rad. Donate a few dollars every time you can (which is what I’m doing).
I’m asking nicely. And I don’t ask for much. Click here for his gofundme page. It literally takes 3 minutes.
P.S. If you want to follow Todd’s story, visit http://hedoeshair.com/