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Fred Blom is a 66-year old husband, father, and grandfather who is very ill. After years of struggling with heart disease, specifically cardiomyopathy, he has been diagnosed with end stage congestive heart failure and a heart transplant is his only hope for survival. Fred is one of the nicest guys youʼd ever hope to meet and he needs our help. The cost of a transplant is overwhelming.

Fred grew up in Richfield, Minnesota and graduated from Richfield High School. He went on to Bemidji State University where he studied elementary education. After graduating, Fred was hired by Montevideo schools where he taught for 25 years. You may remember his wife, Jeri, who taught in the same school district where they met. Fred retired in July, 2018.

Updates (39)

October 1, 2019

Each fall, I must be “re-certified” for the heart transplant list. Last week I had a series of appointments which lead to that end. Later in October, I return to the U of MN Medical Center for the a surgical test in that series. All labs showed my health is good and the LVAD is working properly. There have been many heart rhythm events over the summer recorded by the implanted cardiac defibrillator, but nothing, thankfully, which needed therapy from the defibrillator.

One year ago, heart transplant statuses were revised by the organization responsible for administering the list (United Network for Organ Sharing). The revisions seem to have resulted in fewer transplants for LVAD patients. This came as somewhat disappointing news, having now been on the heart transplant list for more than 4 years. Perhaps comparing data from the last year to years prior to the status revisions may show further refinements are needed for VAD patients.

As each day brings me closer to transplant, we were reminded of expenses which will be incurred. Jeri and I will be required to live within one hour of the hospital for up to 3 months after transplant. In this time, there will be weekly appointments (2-3 per week) to monitor progress, regulate medications, and heart biopsies. The University Medical Center does have 14 apartments that can be rented, but there is no guarantee that any will be available at the time of transplant. Rent for one of the apartments is $1650 per month. If no apartment is available, as was the case when I had LVAD surgery, we will need to be in a hotel for that time. Our home expenses will continue during those three months as well. Medication costs will be incurred for the rest of my life. Our social worker spoke of one medication that will be taken for the first three months that costs $4000 to $5000 per month. This is in addition to the anti-rejection drugs. Yes, Medicare and supplemental insurance will pay a significant portion of those drug costs, but not all.

The “funds raised” shown on the site are the total which has been raised since 2016. This is not the balance of the account. Each month a portion of these funds is used for medical expenses not covered by insurance. We appreciate any further contributions which can be made for this life journey. Every day, I am so grateful for each one of you who has contributed, or has offered us so much support with your thoughts and prayers. Thank you!

March 18, 2019

Winter 2019 was incredible and now the “snowmelt” is happening. Both Jeri and I remained healthy this winter. Last week was my 3-month follow-up with the cardiology team; labs indicate I’m healthy in every other aspect which is very good. With an LVAD, the potential for blood clots forming is elevated. My blood thickness, measured by INR, is being monitored at least once a week or more often. This requires a trip to the local hospital lab each time. I am there so frequently that when I check in at the front desk, I can simply say, “The Usual” and they know what I mean:)

This fall, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), redefined the transplant policies for heart transplants. Having an LVAD and not needing to be hospitalized, my status has been Status 4. Because of these policy changes, I qualify for 30 days as Status 3, which is how I am currently listed. This puts me at a more urgent status. I have been on the transplant list since June 2015. The fund indicator on this web page shows a goal and the amount that has been raised. Ongoing medical costs have already been taken out of the fund so what is available today is substantially less than what has been raised. Major costs will continue through, and after, transplant. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Below are links to UNOS, which provides administrative services for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and the UNOS website for living donors and transplant recipients. Please visit these sites to learn more about transplants and the importance of organ/tissue donation.

UNOS unos.org
OPTN optn.transplant.hrsa.gov
UNOS website for living donors and transplant recipients
www.transplantliving.org

Guestbook

August 15, 2018

Love ya, brother!

Dennis Leahy

July 4, 2018

We love you Fred!

Barry Brace

June 8, 2018

Prayers continue for you and your family.

Bill/Nancy Schuller

May 28, 2018

Praying for a miracle in Jesus Name!

Mary Cole