Zach received his life-saving kidney/pancreas transplant!
My husband, Zach Hood had been battling Type 1 Diabetes for the past 16 years. He was in end stage renal failure, engaging in dialysis three days a week and in need of a life-saving kidney/pancreas transplant. We are thrilled to tell you that our prayers were answered when we received a phone call to get to the hospital in order for Zach to receive a perfect match kidney & pancreas transplant. Zach received his life-saving kidney/pancreas transplant on September 24, 2016.
Zach is forever a changed man. He is so excited to be able to live a more fulfilled life with family, friends and happy that his world is now open to many more possibilities with a long future ahead of him. He looks forward to returning to work, becoming active in the community again and engaging in many things he was unable to do for so long.
The transplant has saved his life. Now, as you can imagine, we are faced with the out of pocket expenses related to the transplant that can be astronomical. Even with insurance we still have many co-pays, deductibles, lab fees, and Zach will be on a life-time of anti-rejection medications. This is where we need your support.
To help with the financial burden of Zach’s uninsured expense, a fundraising campaign in his honor has been established with Help Hope Live, a trusted nonprofit organization that has been providing community-based fundraising guidance to patients and their families for more than 30 years. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law, are held by Help Hope Live in the Great Lakes Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Fund, and are administered by Help Hope Live for transplant-related expenses only. Please consider a contribution.For credit card contribution, please select the DONATE NOW button.
Your support is critical to the overall success of Zach’s transplant. Please know that your contribution counts. On behalf of Zach, myself and our families, thank you for your ongoing generosity, kindness, support and prayers.
September 26, 2016
Hello Prayer Warriors! Please do me a huge favor. Please pray for Zach. Late last night at nearly 9pm, we got a phone call to pack up our belongings and head to the hospital. Once we arrived to the hospital they began going through checks and blood work with Zach. Well at 1:30 am on September 24, it was confirmed by a cross match that Zach was going to receive a perfect donor match of a Kidney and Pancreas. Zach went into surgery at 1:30 am and we were told the surgery would last 8 hours. We had later received word that the pancreas was in and doing its job of bringing the blood sugar down. At that point, they were then going to proceed with transplanting the kidney. Many hours passed without a word and we constantly wonder what was going on in the operating room. We were praying constantly all was going well. The doctor later came down to tell us that the surgery went beautifully! Zach is doing great and everything is functioning as it should be. Please pray that his body continues to accept the kidney and pancreas, because at this point Zach is no longer diabetic!
Zach still has a long road and it will be a challenge so any assistance would help bring great relief. Thank you all in advance.
September 26, 2016
Hello family and friends! It has been awhile since we have posted on HelpHOPELive. Latest update on Zach. Overall, Zach is doing well. He has been busy with dialysis, Hyperbariac Oxygen Therapy, and going to the foot doctor every week. He just started back at the Hyperbariac Oxygen Therapy a couple weeks ago, but unfortunately they had to stop briefly due to one of his tubes falling out of his ears. Zach’s ears need to be able to pop, but without the tubes they are unable to do so. Zach will be getting with the doctors to figure out what will be done next.
We are praying his feet continue to heal even without the hyperbariac chamber. One thing I forgot to update you all on here is that a few weeks ago, Zach lost a toe. The good thing is that his foot is healing great. We are just praying that his other foot continues to heal and that he won’t have to lose a toe on that foot.
We are thankful though that Zach is now able to stay home and focus on healing without having to stress with working too. We are planning on doing more fundraisers soon to continue to raise funds towards the transplant that will happen in the future. If you are interested in helping lead a fundraiser, please let me know. Thanks! God Bless!
July 26, 2016
“I am now negative for Clostridium difficile and all Clostridium difficile DNA” – Zach-
July 19, 2016
A huge shout out to everyone that stopped by Chicago’s Pizzeria in Franklin to help support Zach’s Journey to Transplant. We feel so blessed with the kindness you all have shown us. Thanks again and God Bless you all! <3
July 18, 2016
Infection Found! #GodAnswersPrayers
By Monica Hood — Jun 12, 2016 12:43pm
Hello family and friends! Well just as the title suggested a prayer has been answered and Zach’s infection has been found! We have been working constantly with doctor and they finally found the infection and good news! It is curable. Zach has Clostridium Difficile Colitis it is also known as C-diff. Basically the other antibiotics that he has been on in the past has caused him to get C-diff which means he has an infection in his gut. All the good bacteria is gone which leaves only the bad stuff. He is now on another type of antibiotics to help cure C-diff. Having the infection prevents Zach from getting a kidney/pancreas transplant if they come available. Please continue to pray for Zach and that the infection will be cured.
If you are wanting to learn more about this infection go to this link, because there are too many false website out there that can scare anyone!
July 18, 2016
Let the Younique Fundraising Begin
By Monica Hood — Jun 7, 2016 4:21pm
Hello family and friends! Here is our first fundraiser through my Younique Business to benefit the Great Lakes Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Fund in honor of Zach. #ZachHoodsJourney #TheHoodsJourney Please help spread the word! This will be a continuous fundraiser! All funds raised go towards Transplant related costs. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you all in advance!
July 18, 2016
Infectious To Our Plan
By Monica Hood — Jun 2, 2016 11:32am
Hello friends! As many of you know Zach has been going to get treatments every week from Monday – Friday in a Hyperbariac Chamber. This is used to help heal faster than he currently does. The good news is Zach’s feet are almost completely healed! On one food the pressure ulcer has closed up and the other foot it is getting really close. We are just praying and waiting for the day the doctor says he doesn’t have to re-wrap his feet! Zach is ready to enjoy life and this summer just like anyone would want if they were in his position! We did receive some bad news though.
For over a month now, Zach has been getting sick once a week. He had a high fever, chills, and nausea. The doctors first thought it was his feet, but they are healing great. New doctors have been thrown into the mix everyone tries to figure out why he keeps spiking fevers. Last time, I was told his white blood cell count is high. It should be between 4300 – 10,000, but it is at 17,000 which indicates infection. With Zach having this infection, it throws off our hope and plan for him to have surgery to get his Peritoneal catheter put in for his Peritoneal Dialysis. Understandable, the doctors do not want him to have surgery until they figure out what the problem is. This is upsetting to the both of us! For one, we wish the doctors could figure out what is causing him to feel sick every week like he has been. Secondly, Peritoneal Dialysis would be perfect for Zach! He would get to do treatments on his own at home! This would allow him to have a more normal schedule/lifestyle. The title of this says, Infections to OUR plan, but I know it is God’s plan. I just pray that the Doctors figure things out soon. Please pray for Zach and pray that the doctors find answers soon! I know you will all agree that we hate Zach has to go through everything he goes through on!
July 18, 2016
The Picture says it all! 🙂
By Monica Hood — May 13, 2016 1:24pm
On May 7, I woke up so I could finally complete the last test needed to be completed before the surgery. I have completed the 24 hour blood pressure testing, but I’ll talk to you more about that on the next entry. I am still waiting on results for that one. Well just as I supported him through all his testing, Zach was there with me as I completed the 2 hour Glucose tolerance testing. When I woke up I checked my blood sugar at home since we have the monitors at home to do it and I was thrilled when I saw it was 96! I just prayed that was a good saying! I had asked for my prayer warriors to do their thing and well prayers were answered! As you can see by the picture…I PASSED! The only thing holding me back at this point…other than my weight…is my blood pressure. Please pray that the results come back looking good! Thank you all for your continued support. I will post more soon with updates on Zach sometimes it is a good thing when things are quiet on this page it means things are being taken care of and nothing major is happening! Well take care and God Bless! <3
July 18, 2016
tep in the Right Direction
By Monica Hood — Apr 19, 2016 2:33pm
Hello family and friends! Zach just shared an update today on his Facebook page stating “My feet are getting better.” You may not see them as getting better, but as I have told you he is a slow healer. He has new healthy skin coming in and all is going well. He still has to get his feet worked on once a week and then wrapped and he goes to Hyperbariac Oxygen Therapy during the week. We are just waiting to get an all hear from the foot doctor…not quite there, but getting closer!
July 18, 2016
The Love of a Man’s Best Friend
By Monica Hood — Apr 15, 2016 8:43am
We all have heard the term, “Man’s Best Friend.” Many people think of dogs when they hear that term and wouldn’t dare think of a cat being consider as such. Well Zach has found his, “Man’s Best friend” in our oldest cat Butters. This sweet girl has been there for him through it all!
Many people hear about Type 1 Diabetes, but they don’t really see how it affects a person’s life. I really wouldn’t wish Type 1 Diabetes or results of Diabetes on anyone! I may not be physically going through what Zach is, but emotionally I go through it with him. I feel that I am not the only one that goes through it with him in our household. Our furbabies do especially Butters! You always here people say that a pet knows when something is wrong and that is so true!
Butters aka Butter Cat is always there for Zach. She will cuddle with him even though she doesn’t always enjoy it just to be there for him when he isn’t feeling well. If Zach isn’t feeling well you will usually find Butters lying next to him, cuddled up in his arms, or sometimes even just sitting next to him watching over him. It sounds creepy, but it is so sweet. There are often times I feel like she really is watching over him and trying to take care of him. I absolutely love their relationship! <3 She enjoys loving on me too, but I just love their connection. Butters, Sophie, and Lucie truly brighten up Zach's day. We are so blessed to have them in our lives. They are all rescues, but in many ways they have saved us. I just wanted to share with you this sweet little angel that watches over this man that we all love dearly!
July 18, 2016
Help Hope Live Campaign in the works!
By Monica Hood — Apr 11, 2016 6:15pm
Hello family and friends! As some of you have seen we have created a Facebook page and also started a fundraising campaign via HelpHopeLive Charity website. HelpHopeLive.org is a national nonprofit, their mission is to support community-based fundraising for people with unmet medical and related expenses due to cell and organ transplants or catastrophic injuries and illnesses. We set this up, because we have family and friends who have approached us about financially helping us. This needed to be approached in the right manner. There will be a website hosted by HelpHopeLive and our page will be published live on there within 24 hours after the first $25 is donated. For more information, please contact HelpHOPELive at 800.642.8399. Once the website goes live people will be able to donate on our HelpHopeLive page, call their hotline to pay via phone, or mail a check. We will provide more information once our website goes live.
I do want to stress that we aren’t trying to beg people for money. This link is just available, because people have expressed interest in donating to us. There are so many more ways to help us outside of financial help, but really just being there is enough. We will need more help when it gets closer to the big day and after. So if you are wanting to find some way to help don’t worry there may be a chance! Love you all and thank you for your support!
If you have any questions, please let me know! 🙂 Thanks.
More about: https://helphopelive.org
July 18, 2016
Monica’s Test Results are in!
By Monica Hood — Apr 1, 2016 7:01pm
Today, I received a phone call from my Donor coordinator! The Coordinator said that she received all my test results and everything looks great…except my glucose levels were a little high. My levels were just a point or two above where they should be. I will be receiving orders to take a two hour Glucose screening test similar to what pregnant woman have to go through when checking for gestational diabetes. My A1C is perfect, but they want to ensure that I am not at risk for diabetes. The night I did my blood work I started feeling really sick which can actually cause your glucose levels to go up. There is a good chance my levels went up for that exact reason, but they want to ensure that is the reason. I completely understand, because I don’t want to risk anything either. One interesting thing I did find out is that I have mild dextroscoliosis of the thoracic spine which is just a mild curve of the spine. That explains why my back hurts sometimes. There are exercises I can do for it, but that is about it. Back to the point, all test results are good! Now we just wait to see how that 2 hour test goes! Please pray it goes well! If this goes well then I go on to IU University Health to meet the team of doctors which is the same process that Zach went through. Meeting the surgeons, psychiatrist, social workers, and the rest of the team. As far as I know after that we are just waiting on me to finish losing the weight… 🙂
To Be Continued…
July 18, 2016
Wounds from the Battles of Diabetes
By Monica Hood — Mar 24, 2016 12:59pm
As many of you are aware, Diabetics are constantly told to take good care of their feet. Sometimes no matter how hard they try it just isn’t good enough. This situation has happened to Zach in the past and currently as well. You have heard of amputations, foot ulcers, etc. Right now, Zach is suffering from couple foot ulcers that developed when he had to walk funny due to retaining so much water. He has always been really good at caring for his feel, but with retaining so much water he wasn’t able to bend his knees very well. It is no fault of his own that these ulcers developed. As soon as I noticed these ulcers I told him we are going to the doctor now!
We got into the doctor and he showed me how to care for the ulcers to assist in the healing process. We did it everyday and many times twice a day. Eventually the doctor said that it was time to take further action, because these ulcers weren’t healing fast enough even though they did look a bit better. Zach is a really slow healer due to the diabetes and we all wanted to prevent things from getting worse. Our family doctor redirected us to a specialist that is actually the same doctor that did my Radio Frequency Ablation for my varicose veins. He is a great doctor! He had been caring for Zach’s feet and at one point he really thought the infection had went to the bone, but thank the Lord it had not gone that far! We and the doctors were honestly surprised it hadn’t, but totally grateful that it didn’t! That is the last thing we needed!
After the confirmation that the infection did not reach the bone the doctor wanted to get approval from insurance to do the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. A quick lesson…the air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times higher than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. This helps your blood carry more oxygen to organs and tissues in your body. This allows wounds such as Zach’s foot ulcers to heal quicker. I thought you all should also know it is very important that these are long gone by the time transplant comes around, because this could delay that surgery. This process has been going on for awhile now and his feet do not see much light due to being constantly wrapped up so hopefully one day soon I can tell you guys that his feet have completely healed and he is done with this whole process. Well that is all for now, because as you know it is a constant battle with this awful disease. I pray God will bring us amazing news about this transplant process and help bring Zach a renewed sense of life! Zach is amazing and I feel he still has an amazing purpose to show this world! Please pray for his continued strength both mentally and physically! God Bless each and everyone of you!
July 18, 2016
My Testing is Done!
By Monica Hood — Mar 22, 2016 8:15am
About to get my tests done…so I thought!
All my testing has finally been done! I had some issues, but all that matters is that everything is done! I had to wait until I was a specific weight to do these tests. Now comes the hardest part where we wait. I am waiting to hear from my Donor coordinator to let me know when she receives everything she needed. She told me it would take about a week to get the blood work results back. Last time, it was more like two weeks. I just wanted to give you all a quick update to let you know that we are just waiting to make sure I don’t have anything major wrong with me that would prevent me from being able to donate to Zach. They are looking at my heart, protein in my urine, my kidney function, make sure I don’t have any diseases, etc. I need to be in tip top shape! Hopefully all tests results come back okay so that way all I need to worry about is losing the rest of this weight! 🙂 Please send up some prayers! Thank you all for your continued support! Much love <3 Attached are just some random pictures from Friday when I got my EKG and Chest X-Ray done. Oh and one more thing...I must say it is really weird carrying around a jug of pee during the 24 urine collection process. Well that is all! Have a good one!
June 28, 2016
On My “Weigh”!
Mar 15, 2016 12:56pm
Weight, something many of us struggle with whether at some point in our life whether from being overweight or underweight I am sure many of you can relate. It can be physically and emotionally challenging and generally you are the reason it is so hard. At least that is how it has been for me. I am so hard on myself and when I look in the mirror I am just disgusted. I think I look at myself that way for many reasons. One reason is because of how I may look or feel that specific day. Another reason is there are many times I think about what it took to motivate me and what it takes to keep me motivated. It took two extreme events to happen to get me motivated to lose weight and I continue to tell others that I pray they wake up and see they need to improve their help now. I hope it doesn’t take the passing of a loved one and severe illness of another loved one to motivate you to lose weight. Yes, I am hard on myself, but I have my reasons.
How do I keep motivated? I weigh myself, take pictures of myself, and measure myself to help keep me motivated. It helps me see that in some way I am making progress, because sometimes a picture tells me what a mirror seems to lie to me about. A scale feels like it is lying to me, but that is because fat and muscle weigh the same. The difference is that muscle is denser than fat which is why I measure myself to let me see that I am truly losing inches. You all know that I have been on this journey for a while. This isn’t the first time you have been hearing about me working hard to lose weight or to better myself.
The original purpose for this website was to keep everyone updated on Zach, but really with my involvement I figured I would change the name to, The Hood’s Journey. I know some of you are interested in my weight loss progress since I am currently on track to losing weight with not only the ultimate goal of being a healthier version of myself, but also to have the honor of giving the gift of life to Zach. I truly feel blessed, honored, and I just can’t even explain the way I feel to be given the opportunity to help Zach. I am just so very thankful that I had already lost as much weight as I already had otherwise he would have to wait on me a lot longer to get my kidney.
Honestly, if I was back to my original weight we probably wouldn’t even know I was a match, because you have to weigh a certain amount to be tested to see if you are a match. I was lucky that I got a pass due to the huge amount I had already lose. The Lord works in amazing ways that is for sure! Yesterday, I had my doctor’s appointment and I found out that in the last month I have lost twenty pounds! You have to remember I am being watched very closely in this weight loss process by my doctor and I am on medication that gives my efforts a little boost. I am extremely focused, but as we all know for a good cause. Well I won’t be posting about my weight on here often so if you have any questions just message me or leave a comment on this post. I’ll write more about my weight if it is big news. Well thirty more pounds to go until Zach and I can dance in the big show as long as he is doing well on his end also! (Have Surgery)
June 28, 2016
Our Love is Truly a Match
Mar 9, 2016 12:24pm
Our relationship and friendship is truly one of a kind. We both are very expressive people, enjoy to laugh, we know sometimes we have to work hard to get to where we want in life, and our hearts are loyally taken by one another. We are very different in so many ways, but for some crazy reason the Lord has made it to where we work great together! I could go on and on about our life together, but I have a point to get to today. I’ve known for a long time that we were a great match, but I don’t think I realized what that meant until now.
For years, I have watched and helped Zach battle through the life of being a type 1 diabetic. I don’t think anyone truly knows what that is truly like unless you live with them or are close to them in some way. I will say that other people that live with Chronic illnesses, their spouses, and family do have an idea of what it is like in some ways. There were many times I would look at him praying that there was some way I could take the pain away from him. I never thought that one day I might actually get to do just that in some way. Last year, Zach was diagnosed with Level 4 Chronic Kidney Disease. During one special occasion, I gave him a card and on that card on the back I told him that I wanted to get tested to see if I was a match. He was very grateful, but of course unsure where that whole process would begin. Well eventually, the process had begun to get Zach on the Kidney/Pancreas transplant list which he is now official on as of February 2016. At the beginning of this process they took a lot of Zach’s blood for testing and that same day I decided to get tested too.
Many weeks later we got a call telling me that I was Blood Type A which shocked me, because I went in think I was a Blood Type O just like him. At first, I was really bummed out, but continued to listen to my donor coordinator. She continue to explain that Blood Type A is broken down into two different subgroups A1 and A2. A1’s are NOT compatible with Os at all! A2’s act more like Os therefore they generally can donate to Os. She then told me that I was part of subgroup A2. My eyes lit up as she said, “You are a compatible match for Zach.” What next?
Well the next step was the make sure he didn’t have any foreign antibodies above a certain level. Story short. I am still able to donate to Zach! 🙂 The next step is that I have to under go some more testing soon to ensure I don’t have anything extreme wrong my kidney or heart and make sure I don’t have anything like cancer. Looking for things that are a bit more unlikely.
As time as gone on for this to soak in I want people to remember not to put the focus on me. Please focus on Zach. I am just overjoyed that the Lord truly matched us together for a reason. He is my husband, my best friend, my one true match. I finally get the chance to help him feel better in some way. Something I have always wanted to do. This surgery should hopefully happen within the next few months, but only the Lord knows when it will truly happen. The Lord has brought us the most beautiful gift! We are so grateful! <3
June 28, 2016
A Low That Shook Us Up
Mar 7, 2016 8:02am
We have experienced lows before, but nothing like this! This morning I was awaken by Zach in the process of dealing with low blood sugar. He has a tendency to want to sit on the floor when he gets low. He got off the bed and sat on the floor. I jumped up to help him. He quickly responded with, “Go back to sleep, I’m got it! I’m fine.” I determined by how he looked and sounded that his blood sugar just recently started to go down. I decided to listen to him and laid back down, but would never be able to go back to sleep until I knew he was okay. It was probably about ten minutes later when I started to feel the bed shake. I opened my eyes to see Zach’s arm shaking. I instantly jumped up. There are often times he shakes, because he is cold. When you experience a low you often sweat which makes you cold, but this was different. I ran over to Zach and started talking to him. Zach was shaking more than if he was cold. He wasn’t responding to me. I quickly positioned him in a way so he would be okay then ran to get his glucose monitor and something more liquid form to bring up his sugar. Zach wasn’t responding to me verbally…he was just shaking. I tried to hand feed him some of this grape frozen concentrate since he really can’t have liquid due to dialysis plus that is all we had at the time other than glucose tablets and candy. He was responding by slurping up the grape drink. That made me feel a little better. He was breathing okay and I was able to feel a pulse. I finally was able to take his sugar levels and it was at 51. I was thrown off thinking it was going to be about 20 or lower since we have experience some really low levels. Why was he having a seizure and not responding to me at 51? That is when I decided this was too rare with not responding to me and a seizure, I had to call 911. I called in a panic at first, but eventually calmed down knowing that i wasn’t helping anyone being that way. I was able to fully inform the emergency personnel about all of Zach’s medical situation and past. The ambulance was then on its way. The Paramedics tried to bring Zach to at our house, but Zach wasn’t responding verbally or through his pupils. They decided it was time to go the Community South our hospital of choice. We were about half way there when Zach finally came to. He said as he was coming to the first thing he saw was the ambulance doors. He was thinking, “Crap…I’m in an ambulance!” He and I were both nervous since this had never happen before. The doctors believe that the seizure happened due to a mix of low blood sugar and being dehydrated. He is dehydrated, because he has practically all of the water off of him now since he is on dialysis. He has to watch how much he drinks very closely on a daily basis. This may sound awful, but that is an experience that seriously left us both a bit shooken up in more ways than one.
June 28, 2016
Highs and Lows – (Mar 6, 2016 9:29pm)
In life you commonly hear about couples having highs and lows, but that took on whole new meaning in our relationship! Zach has been Type 1 Diabetic since just before his 16th birthday. Since the beginning of our relationship, there have been trips to the hospital for DKA also known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis. In other words, he ended up in the hospital due to have high blood sugar levels. Even doctors struggled to get his blood sugars under control. When he was first diagnosed with diabetes his blood sugar was at 830+. Commonly when he ended up in the hospital with DKA his blood sugar was around 600. It was emotionallly draining for the both of us, because no matter how hard we tracked his eating and sugar levels it didn’t seem to help. It wasn’t until 2014 when the doctor finally decided to put Zach on the Insulin pump then his whole life turned around! The pump was a blessing that knocked out the appearance of high blood sugar, but eventually we started to notice that we now had to start to battling the lows. Highs and lows can both be scary in their own way, but it is something that can’t truly be understood fully until you experience it either yourself or helping another person going through it. Still to this day we are grateful for he Insulin pump. We agree with our doctors in saying Zach received the Insulin moments too late, because the damage had already been done on his body. Damage on the kidneys, feet, eyes, etc. Diabetes may have damaged many things, but we have learned so much a long the way including how to work well with each other. Well stick around for more journal entries about our journey some about our past and some more recent.
June 3, 2016
Infectious To Our Plan
Mail a Check
Make checks payable to:
Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of Zach Hood
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087