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This fundraiser ended on 10/13/12

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This is the Terry Kimbrell Liver Transplant Fund. The funds will be used for Terry's medical costs and related expenses.

Dear Family, Friends and Soon-to-be Friends,

Last year, things were looking up for our family. New residential construction was on the rise in the area and Terry was getting more and more work. The possibility of being able to rebuild the business after losing everything to the Great Recession seemed real.

But Terry didn’t feel right. He had a bad fall in August, 2010 and fractured a couple ribs. He just couldn’t seem to recover from it. It bothered him every day. Then in early August, 2011, he ended up in the hospital with still more pain on that side and now in his abdomen. CT images showed his spleen was enlarged. His blood work showed his platelets were critically low.

Terry was referred to Hematology for follow-up after his discharge. Tests there showed that all of this was caused by liver disease. We knew that Terry had Hep-C. He underwent 48 weeks of treatment in the late ‘90s but later rebounded. We knew he still had the virus but he hadn’t been sick. He hadn’t shown any signs of jaundice. We thought everything was stable.

By this time, it’s November 2011 and Terry is being sent to a Hep-C specialist. We begin to make arrangements and get insurance authorization to begin a new round of treatment that with a new additional drug has a 75% cure rate. Terry began the treatment the middle of January of this year. A month later, he was in the hospital.

His white blood cell count was nearly non-existent, his platelets were in the low 20s and his ammonia level was 10 times normal. He had hepatic encephalopathy caused from the ammonia that his liver was no longer filtering from his blood. We had noticed Terry had been having occasional bouts with forgetfulness and confusion. We just didn’t realize what was causing it.

Terry was given drugs to boost his white cells and after 2 attempts, the treatment was successful. He was given transfusions of platelets to try to boost his platelets but that was unsuccessful. He was started on Lactulose, a medicine that helps to remove ammonia from the body before it can get into the blood stream.

He was sent home with instructions that, due to his diminished immune system, he did not need to be out in public. Also, due to his critically low platelets, the slightest injury could cause him to bleed uncontrollably. Any hope of rebuilding his business ended.

Terry could not continue the Hep-C treatment because of his advanced liver disease. His only hope of survival is a liver transplant. In May of this year, Terry was referred to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL for evaluation for transplant and we arrived there on August 16. Terry has passed all of his evaluations and is awaiting placement on the list. His MELD score needs to be 18-20 before he can be placed. His MELD score is currently 13. It was 10 in May, so it is quickly getting worse.


We are currently living on my small income along with Terry’s small disability check. Terry’s mom is living with us and generously gives what she can but it just doesn’t seem to stretch to cover everything we need to keep Terry comfortable and keep the bills paid. Our trip to Jacksonville last month for Terry’s evaluations lasted 2 weeks and cost over $1200. Luckily, I received a grant through my employer that offset some of that expense but honestly, we are strapped. All of our savings is gone.

When the wait is over and Terry is called to Jacksonville for his transplant, we will have to stay in Jacksonville for a minimum 3 weeks after his discharge from the hospital. Jacksonville is 5 and a half hours away so commuting is out of the question. Accommodations and food costs will mount the longer we are there. I will be out of paid leave and will be taking that time off without pay while having to maintain $800 a month in medical insurance premiums that normally come out of my check.

We have great insurance but it isn’t going to cover everything. Terry will be on 6-8 additional medications after transplant. While our copay for even the most expensive drugs is only going to be $30, those medications could possibly be changed on a daily bases costing $30 with each change.

Please help. We know that this is not an inexpensive quest…but it is his only hope!

We appreciate anything you can do. We love all of you. Brightest Blessings to you all.


Sheila
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