Fred Blom is a 64-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. He continues to work although he is completely dependent on an implanted left ventricle assist device (LVAD) which is a constant flow heart pump. This device was implanted in June, 2016 and is acting as a bridge to transplant. He now awaits transplant through the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
January 2, 2018
The week before Christmas, I had my regular 3-month follow-up at the U of MN. Eighteen months have passed since the implant of the LVAD. It is operating wonderfully which allows me to continue working 4 to 5 hours a day. Those hours do fatigue me so that afternoon rest is necessary. I am very grateful to the company for which I work, and its employees, for their generosity and support in allowing me to to work the hours I do. Thank you.
In September, we learned that there is a high possibility I may need a kidney transplant in addition to the heart. The feasibility of a kidney transplant would require more evaluations including the possibility of a kidney biopsy which would require time in the hospital because of being on blood thinners. This discussion is taking place between the two transplant teams. My heart team seems comfortable with only the heart transplant, while the kidney side would like to do the evaluation for a dual transplant listing. Time will tell. My responsibility in all this is to be in the best physical shape possible. I have lost 17 pounds, even with the holidays, and will exercise regularly either at home or by returning to cardiac rehab. Because there has been no recent cardiac event, insurance will not cover the cost of cardiac rehab.
At home, we had a major plumbing home repair that caused us to move out of the house for a week at the beginning of November. The plumbing has been fixed, but it left us with a household mess of old plaster dust and huge, gaping holes in our living room ceiling and two walls. This has not yet been repaired but will require us to move out again because dirt and dust that will come with refinishing the entire living room ceiling and repairing the walls. All of this, with the news of the possibility of kidney transplant, has made this fall quite stressful. Jeri and I continue to laugh and love through it. We hope you have a happy holiday season. We thank you for your prayers and support as we await the “phone call” in 2018.
September 22, 2017
Summer is over and Jeri and I made the best of it by traveling to one of our favorite places in Minnesota several times. Our daughter and her family were here visiting from the Finger Lakes region in New York, along with my son and his family from the Twin Cities. This coincided with a family reunion. Along with a couple of major projects on our house, it was a full summer.
This past week I had my quarterly follow-up at the U of MN Medical Center; a day filled with appointments. We received some good news and some “more concerning” news. The results of a right heart catherization showed that the LVAD is operating exactly as it should. The pressures in the heart are good and the blood flow that was anticipated prior to implant is there. Over the last month, there has been some irritation to skin surrounding the dressing over the site where the external controller connects to the implanted pump. This reaction to dressing adhesives has caused much redness, tenderness and itching. Daily dressing changes are required to help relieve this. Other than this inconvenience, the LVAD pump is functioning wonderfully..
Over the years, there has been some chronic kidney issues. It was hoped that the pump and its increased blood flow to the organs would reverse that. However, 15 months since implant, that is not the case. We were told this week that there is a very high probability that I will need a kidney transplant in addition to the heart transplant. More evaluation is needed before a final decision is reached. This will require several more trips to Minneapolis and more doctors’ bills. I am asking for your support and encouragement at this time and, if possible, financial assistance in reaching the transplant dollar goal. Once again, I thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.
September 22, 2017
Mr. Blom, my 5th grade teacher. You read us The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I hung on every word. Thank you for teaching me and inspiring me to become a teacher as well. I'll pray for you.
Melissa Larson (Oakland)
June 24, 2017
I have been following your struggle on Facebook through your wife Jeri! I will continue to lift prayers for your match be found soon. Hugs to you, Jeri, and your whole family
January 20, 2017
God bless you,Fred, Jerri, and family! Merry Christmas!
January 20, 2017
That is such great news !!! Continued prayers coming your way !!