The family and friends of Doug Hart are uniting to raise funds needed for surgery and related expenses not covered by our insurance.
We have restarted our efforts to raise the funds needed for my husband Doug who is suffering from a debilitating disease called Ocular Histoplasmosis, which he contracted February 4th this year. Thank you to those who supported our first effort to raise enough money for related expenses and insurance costs with our previous GiveForward fundraiser.
This is a serious disease and a leading cause of blindness. At present, he has lost sight in his left eye and has multiple lesions present on his right eye. He is getting injections of Avastin into his eyes to treat it but after a series of 6 very painful injections there has been no improvement, just worsening of his condition in both eyes.
Doug qualified for disability through his employer two months ago, however the injections and surgery does not qualify under his medical insurance due to the severity of his condition. There is a protocol for specific procedures that insurance requires and the physicians are not able to follow them due to the lesion locations (optic nerve, macula and retina in his left eye). The only surgery that may save Doug from losing his sight completely is not covered by his insurance as it is elective and is not quaranteed to cure his condition, only try to improve it. Duke University Medical Center has the ability to do the surgery but the cost is completely on us to proceed.
What is Ocular Histoplasmosis and how could this happen?
Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus found in soil where bird and bat droppings have accumulated, such as in chicken coops, caves and old buildings. Doug, who is an industrial plumber, frequently works in older buildings where he might have gotten exposed to the fungus. Fungal spores can become airborne if the soil is disturbed and then be inhaled into the lungs causing flu-like, cold symptoms. Even though the symptoms are mild, it can cause a serious retinal condition called Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (OHS). OHS is a leading cause of blindness in the 20 to 40 year old age group and affects men and women equally. More people need to be aware of this disease in the U.S., especially those who have high-risk professions such as farmers, construction workers and landscapers. Blindness can happen quite suddenly since the symptoms seem like the common cold. Doug woke up one day with one blind eye, and it was incredibly scary.
Kimberly Hart and Family