Jeff Smith's Medical Expenses and Medications
Organized by: Diana Law
Jeff is facing many future operations, some of which remain a mystery due to the somewhat mysterious nature of his Portal Hypertension condition continuing to cause the very dangerous Variceal Hemorrhaging. He is now known as a 3-bleed Acute Variceal Hemorrhaging, which many of the medical studies I have been reading almost exclude from their testing. His second bleed, about 1.5 months ago was the worst condition, certainly to hear him tell it, that he's ever even known about anyone going through to survival (my husband, who was trying to pick Jeff up after he just fell out like a stone, nearly dark gray in color, echoes that sentiment). Jeff has told me that after falling out he can only see a picture or two in his mind, but can vividly remember thinking that he wasn't "going to make this one)." My friends, he had lost so much blood that before anyone got to him he was trying to crawl from his room to the kitchen because he couldn't walk, his legs literally wouldn't follow his commands to move at all. It is amazing and horrifying to see someone with so little blood in their system that they cannot function. It couldn't be more clear that the person is dying in front of you. My brother's condition is so very dangerous for a number of reasons, but obviously the Hemorrhaging is the main concern. There are several things that Jeff has that seem to accompany his complictions but he hasn't been able to find any information on, and the same seems go for his doctors. He has a fairly significant loss of equilibrium and sometimes has a very hard time focusing, especially on words. Along with those issues he also often talks and appears as though inebriated. Studies have demonstrated time and again that this disease, nearly across-the-board in the medical community (rather unique in itself) carries a 40% mortality rate for the 2nd bleed incident, normally occurring within the first 6 months of the disease presenting. That provides a very clear understanding as to why the goal of the first procedure is to make sure the patient does not have a recurrence. But I'm afraid my brother lies in bed worrying IF HIS FOURTH is happening as he lays there. Y'all, this just cannot happen to my brother. It just can't. Not to Jeff, especially when there are things, albeit some more radical than others, that can be done. He's so young, so funny, and a father of two amazing children. His son Trevor is only 6 months old and that child needs his father, especially with it being Jeff, to be around. He is such a good dad and that boy will miss him if, God help us, this continues on a downhill trek.
And I have taken it upon myself to be the person to go ask for help, which is why we are here. If he's lucky enough to get just a quick outpatient endoscopy, which he'll take anytime he can since that is the sure-fire method for finding bleeds early. But walking in the door he has to hand them the down payment of $325.00 each time. They bill him for the other $1100.00. And in that is not including the multiple doctors bills, specialist, the knock-out guy (can't spell it and not gonna try) and so forth. Monthly medications are very expensive. Not to mention that Jeff isn't able to work anymore, eating at him both psychologically and financially, because he does tend to make work at least 3/4 of his life if he likes the job. Yes, his disease is terminal, but depending on my husband and I gettting him to appts, him having these procedures done if/when a bleed does recur, and then getting him well enough to go on a Liver Transplant list will determine the amount of time he can live. At this point the only time information he has been given is two years if he doesn't behave, and four years if he does. Please help our family to keep my brother longer than that measly four years; he's got a lot left in him, trust me, I know. This man has worked for huge companies, even for NASA, and he has served in the church for years. It would be such a waste to lose him so early. I can remember as a little boy, Jeff gave his heart to God and used to try to preach in the school playground. Let's please come together for him now and prayerfully give to save his life. We aren't being greedy; everything goes towards him and the multitude of things needed to keep him going. Even just sparing a couple of dollar is so very appreciated. If you aren't in a position to give, then please pray. I know some of Jeff's gracious friends gave on the previous site I used, Gofundme, with whom there were numerous issues and it didn't take long to find out that there is a long list of major fundraisers in the country that will not use them, so I decided to shut that acct. Please don't feel that, just because I have moved this to another site, that I am asking you to donate again. By no means, just pray for him in that case please.
One quick semi-administrative word...during the short campaign on the previous site I'm afraid that Jeff's ex-live-in, with whom he had broken up several times, was able to leave several nasty comments. It hurts all of us, you and me and everyone else when someone will stoop to the level of ranting on a site such as this, but you know Jeff always liked them classy. God help her, as she it quite ill as well, she could use your prayers too. Pray that she continues to heal while at the same time that she remove the thorn from her eye, or possibly those around her, and allow my brother to visit his son. You'll find that my brother is not one to beat around the bush about how he was living when he finally healed from his divorce in Florida as he is also not shy to tell you how he feels about other people judging anyone. This is small town America and from everything I've seen and heard and been a part of, Jeff's dance was a Tango and there were always two people in it. Just saying. BTW, as soon as he was told what, at the time was potentially going on, he dropped all of that cold and hasn't skipped a beat.
I thank each and every one of you, and I am so grateful to you all. Thank you for the prayers and any donations you feel compelled to provide, as both will continue to assist greatly in saving my brother. You are all Angels in our eyes and God has a purpose for each and every one of you. Don't ever forget it. God Bless You All!!