In 2004, Ray Thompson started to experience problems with his heart. At that time he was diagnosed with on-set heart failure.
In 2008, his condition had worsened to the point that his heart was enlarged and not able to adequately pump blood to adequately supply his body. During this discovery, he suffered a stroke, and was surgically implanted with a defibrillator and pacemaker to keep his heart operating should there be an emergency. On September 4, 2012, Ray was admitted to the hospital after not feeling well. His heart had become exhausted and was in need of repair. The doctors determined that Ray's heart was no longer able to function on its own, and he would need surgery to implant a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) to essentially perform many of the heart's functions mechanically. While Ray was in for surgery, it was discovered that his heart had increased to the size of a mini-basketball and was in very bad shape. In addition to the planned LVAD, a Right Ventricular Assist Device (RVAD) was also needed. A heart transplant determination had been made as the long-term need. Following surgery for the LVAD and RVAD, Ray embarked on a very tough road to recovery. In the hospital, he suffered multiple infections and required heavy sedation and treatments to help his system fight to recover. Through much prayer, and by the grace of God, Ray was able to fight off the infections and recover. Finally he was able to go home after 3 1/2 months in the hospital wearing the surgically implanted LVAD.
Finally on August 12, 2013, Ray received the "call" that his doctors were seriously considering a donor heart for him. The transplant surgery went as planned and Ray received his new heart!
While the Thompson Family is so grateful to God for their new beginnings, their lives have been impacted by these events in every way. As with any major health treatment such as this, the medical costs are escalating and expected to continue with many treatments ahead. In addition to the burden of healthcare costs, there are daily living cost adjustments with Ray's limitations to work and provide for his family.
Costs of a Heart Transplant
Are you a registered donor? The lives you save could be closer than you think.
At the Thompsons' request, please visit the Donate Life website to learn how you can or someone you know can donate the gift of life.
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Statistics Currently, nearly 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit unos.org
-65,991 Multicultural Patients* -1,760 Pediatric Patients* -28,052 Organ Transplants Performed in 2012 -14,013 Organ Donors in 2012 -More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2012 -More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising