Hi my name is Todd and I'm waiting on a heart transplant.
I am an independent hairstylist, and I've spent the past eleven years making people feel good about themselves and it been a pure pleasure, and by no means a job.
In December of 2013 I had what they call the widow maker - my left anterior artery was 100% blocked. Thanks to acting quickly and dare I say WebMD I survived. Of course do to poor planning on my part I was uninsured, I missed a month and a half of work, but I was at least able to return cutting and coloring again.
On September 2nd I went to see my cardiologist due to some discomfort and discovered my ejection fraction rate had went from 45%, average is 60%, to below 20%. This was pretty disappointing because I was following a strict diet and excursive regime at home. Ever since that day I have been living in IU Methodist Hospital's Cardiac ICU, waiting to be listed for a heart transplant while the doctors could monitor me.
On September 9th I was approved by Medicaid for a swan port surgery and ever since I've been listed 1A for transplant in the UNOS system. I'm told because I am blood type A+ and of small frame and in good physical condition otherwise a heart should be available soon.
On September 16th things took a turn for the worse again. I was extremely sluggish all day and slept a lot which is unusual for me. The doctors doing rounds weren't too concerned but thanks to an AMAZING nurse who went around them the a different cardiologist I was immediately take to the cath lab for a balloon pump. I truly think if it was not for her I wouldn't be able to type this today.
As of this writing I continue to wait for a transplant, tied to a bed and using a catheter and bed pans to do my "business." Hopefully a heart will come soon. Waiting for a new heart is in itself weird because it means for me to live someone has to die. I've only been able to come to terms with this through prayer and the idea that I will give a small part of that person to continue living within me.
As anxious as I am to have the heart transplant, and 8-12 surgery, that is when the hard work begins. Pending on many factors I will spend the next 2-3 weeks in recovery. After that I will move back to my home where I have invited my mother (god help me) to live and help take care of me. From the day of the surgery it should be three moths before I can drive myself. Thankfully, while my dad still works, he has been approved for the Family Medical Leave Act and will be able to come to Indianapolis to give everyone a break now and then.
From the date of the surgery the doctors expect it to take one and one half to two years to get back behind the chair, cutting and coloring, doing what I love most.
While I'm at least mentally prepared for the transplant and have found health coverage through Medicaid and food assistance via SNAP (Indiana's version of food stamps), I am still awaiting a decision on my disability status. If it does go through, as we expect, it will be about 1/3 to 1/2 of what I'm used to making. Although I've been warned multiple time it could take up to five to six months for the first check to show up. I don't have a problem living frugally but there is only so much you can do to get buy.
Plus when I'm better, I have this girl waiting for me to come get her from grandpa!
So I guess what I'm saying is there some tough shit Im going to have to deal with and if I could help alleviate some of the stress associated withe financial end of it that'd be great!
If you can give anything from $5 on up that'd be really great.
Whether you can give or you can, if you could share my store with you social media circles that'd be great too. I figure if enough people give $5 dollars I should be able to make it through the next couple years.