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This fundraiser ended on 12/14/12

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The family and friends of Charles Smith are joining together to raise money to help with medical expenses from his extensive heart surgery.

Having lived with heart disease for 30 years, a "routine" visit for a heart cath and a TEE in April of 2012 was not too much of a worry. The doctors thought Dad possibly had problems with his aortic valve. Little did we know that day, that our lives would change drastically. Tests lead to more tests, which lead to the news that would change our lives. Dad was in the end stages of congestive heart failure with no other options but to have an LVAD (left ventricle assist device or "heart pump") implanted. Each week, more tests had to be done, more doctors had to be seen, and more trips to the hospital had to be made. In June, about 10 weeks later, we finally received the call that his surgery was scheduled!

June 25, 2012 Dad entered an Atlanta hospital for what we thought would be a 2 week stay. The surgery was very successful. His heart, along with the pump assistance, was pumping blood through his body as it should! His feet were warm for the first time in years! He had color in his face! However, he had problems waking up from surgery and also being able to come off of the ventilator. He spent 6 weeks in ICU where he battled pneumonia, dialysis to help remove the excess medicines from his body, a trach to help get him off the ventilator, a feeding tube, along with so many other things. Now he is in a regular room, but still has a trach and a feeding tube because it is taking time for his swallowing muscles to gain strength again.

We have had so many ups and downs. Good days and bad days. My mom has been with him every step of the way even on days when I know all her strength was gone. With so many prayers, we have come so far and are looking to be discharged to home in the next few days. However, dad still can't walk, talk, or eat. Weekly doctor visits will be the norm for several months, as well as home health, physical therapy, and a sitter to help my mom.

Every aspect of this journey has been costly. Not just financially, but physically, emotionally, and mentally. We need help to cover his hospital costs, travel expenses (they live 2 hours from Atlanta), meals away from home, etc. Although he does have insurance, it will in NO way cover the total costs of all of the needs. If you would be able to give, please do so. You will never be able to know how much that means to us.

Thanks to all who are able to help!!
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