A liver for Donald Thomas
Organized by: Karyn Thomas
Donald Thomas is a 46 year old man. He is a husband and father of 4. He is a combat vet and was a truck driver, emt, and volunteer firefighter before he got hurt on the job in 2002. He suffered severe back injury, and damage to his pancreas, which caused him to develop traumatic diabetes. He had been battling with constant pain from his back and unstable blood sugar for 12 years when something changed. He started getting sick almost everyday. His doctor ran lots of test and referred us to a gastric doctor who decided to do an upper GI. What she found would be another blow to our already stressful lives. While he was still under anesthesia the doctor came to me and told me my husband had stage 4 cirrhosis. The reason he was getting sick was because he had gastro paresis ( your stomach rolls backward) and esophageal avarices ( enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus). At first I thought she had made a mistake. My husband never drank a day in his life. Isn't cirrhosis a drinkers disease? After researching it, my worst fears were confirmed. After all his pain and suffering. After all he's done to try and get better, all the doctors, and testing, the surgery that didn't work, all the pills and shots and hospital stays, what was it for? My husband was going to die. But the wonderful doctor put our minds at ease. First, his meld score (model of end stage liver disease) was at a 10. Which is not to bad. Second, he is a candidate for a liver transplant. But as with every good thing there has to be a bad. Because of the diabetes, Dons teeth have become rotted and his insurance will not cover dental. In order to be put on the transplant list he has to have his teeth removed. He can not have any source of infection in his body because of the autoimmune medicine that he needs to take prior to the transplant. Also we will need to travel to Allegany for the surgery, and while he is in the hospital I will need a place to stay for at least 4 weeks. During this time our children will also need a caregiver. The insurance will cover most of his hospital bills but I know from experience there is always some little thing that they don't cover. I also know that those little things add up, to quite a lot. So I am asking you to please help us. Every dollar and penny helps. Right now our first priority is getting Dons teeth fixed. The rest will be saved for the transplant. Thank you and God bless you.