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This fundraiser ended on 08/16/11

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Ronnie has recently had liver surgery and needs help with medical bills and other expenses.

On March 13, 1985, Robert and Ronald Kirby were born. Robbie was perfect in everyway. Ronnie was born jaundice. What his parents did not realize is that the jaundice was caused by an under-lying disease. This disease they later found was biliary atresia. This disease occurs in every 1 in 10,000 infants and the only way to permanently fix it is with a transplant. This is a disease of the liver and it caused Ronnie to be born without a gallbladder and his bile ducts had significant damage. He had to have a procedure done as an infant called a hepatoportoenterostomy. This procedure was a temporary fix that allowed bile drainage.
Due to this disease, Ronnie's spleen started taking over the duties of the liver. As he got older, this caused his spleen to swell and his stomach bulge, which created some difficulty with bullying in school.
One night, when Ronnie was 8 years old, as he, his parents, and 4 siblings were sitting down for dinner, they got a call from Shands Hospital of Gainesville, FL, saying they have recieved a liver that matched the blood type of Ronnie. He needed to be at the hospital as soon as possible so they could start prepping him for surgery. The hour ride seemed like an eternity for Ronnie and his family.
On April 27, 1993, at 6 o'clock in the morning (nearly 12 hours after the phone call) Ronnie was wheeled into an operating room. Ronnie's family went about 7 hours wondering and worrying about him.
When Ronnie woke up from the surgery, he was in an extreme amount of pain. The doctor decided to do an ultra sound and saw that a blood clot had formed in a vessel of the liver. Ronnie had to be rushed back into the operating room for about another two hours to fix the clot.
After almost 3 months of pathogen isolation and a liver rejection, Ronnie finally got to go home. Ronnie finally started living a normal life.
On January 3, 1998 when Ronnie was 12 years old, he lost his parents to a tragic event. Ronnie's eldest sister became their legal guardian, and they jumped around from house to house for the next several years.
Ronnie is now 26 years old, went to school to become a police officer, works as a warehouse associate at HHgregg, and lives on his own. In August 2010, he started dating Elizabeth, who he proposed to on Christmas Eve that same year. They plan on marrying on October 13, 2012.
On his 26th birthday, he started to have serious pains in his stomach and chest. This went on for about a week, and was told to go to Shands emergency room to get looked at. He was quickly admitted after his liver numbers were dramatically off.
After several days of not knowing what was happening to his body, a team of doctors finally discovered a blockage in the bile duct of his liver which they believe was a stone. They determined the backed up bile had to be drained, so they placed a catheter in his liver that drained the bile externally. The catheter was in for almost a month when they decided to do a procedure to try to push the catheter through the blockage. It was a failure, and the catheter stayed in. The whole time the catheter was in, Ronnie had medical leave from work, and had no income. Luckily, after the failed procedure, a surgeon review footage of the procedure and determined he could fix the problem.
Meeting with the surgeon was the most informative visit to Shands through this whole experience. The surgeon knew exactly what was wrong, and it wasn't uncommon. So much scar tissue built up over 18 years, that it caused a blockage. So the surgeon schedule Ronnie for surgery in May of 2011. He still had to go another month and a half with the catheter in his liver.
May couldn't have come soon enough. On the 17th, just over 18 years since his transplant, Ronnie finally had the surgery. He was in the hospital for another week just as a precaution and his fiance never left his side. Ronnie was sent home as soon as he felt better.
Now, Ronnie is doing fantastic. The problem is he was out of work for three and a half months with no income. He has no parents, so he had to depend on his siblings, and his fiance's parents for help. Luckily, his landlord understood his situation, and allowed him to keep his apartment and catch up on rent.
Ronnie started back at work at the end of June 2011. He doesn't make enough money to pay his medical bills or catch up on rent. He needs serious help in this time of need. Ronnie truly appreciates your support. God bless and thank you!
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