Patrick Needs Your Help
As we all know, life can be a winding road forcing us to navigate many twists and turns and obstacles along the way. Sometimes we can take on those obstacles ourselves and then there are times when we need the help of our family and friends.
P.J. (Patrick) is known by all as the guy who never quits, the one who puts his all into everything that he does, and the friend who’s willing to help whenever someone calls. He’s a husband, a dad, a brother, a treasured family member who loves with all his heart and somehow has the ability to make you laugh whether you want to or not!
Currently, P.J. has found himself facing one of those unexpected obstacles in life. He has been diagnosed with IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis) a life-threatening lung disease. He has been given supplemental oxygen and uses it to engage in many everyday activities. As you can imagine, for someone as active as P.J., this has been a struggle as well as a challenge, however his faith has been an incredible source of strength.
Because this disease is progressive, his only chance at returning to good health is a lung transplant. He is now in a lung transplant program and is waiting to be placed on a list. While transplants are life saving, they can also be financially draining. There will be many medical expenses not covered by insurance including co-pays, costly anti-rejection and post transplant medications (some up to $1000 a month), and travel and relocation expenses.
Family and friends of Tom Trask are raising money for the nonprofit Help Hope Live to fund uninsured medical expenses associated with transplantation.
PJ has chosen to fundraise for Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for contributors. Contributors can be sure donations will be used to pay or reimburse medical and related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to this fundraising campaign, click on the Give button.
Your support is extremely important in making P.J.’s prospects for the future much brighter. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers, support, and generosity. Please know that your contribution counts!
With sincere gratitude,
Kathy, Chris, and Brad Mannion
May 19, 2020
3 years post transplant is a reason to celebrate but everyday is a celebration! The highs have totally outweighed the lows by far! God is awesome! As we travel through life upon our journey we’ve encountered so many amazing people – my fellow transplantees, the surgical team, doctors, PA’s, nurses & medical staff.
I pray for Rowan’s (my donor) family that they find comfort in knowing that I’m doing all I can to stay healthy and care for his gift!
Thank you to Kathy, Chris & Brad, our family & Friends for your endless love, support & prayers!
I hope all of you can stay Happy & Healthy in these crazy times!
August 1, 2018
It’s been ONE YEAR today (May 19, 2018) since my double lung transplant!
This has all been made possible with the blessings of God, the gift of my donor family, the fantastic love and support of my #1 caregivers Kathy, Christopher & Brad, and all the other caregivers, family, doctors, nurses, PA’s, nurses aids, friends, supporters, the list goes on and on!
I’m truly blessed in so many ways. God has bestowed upon us many gifts along my journey. Yes the road of a transplant patient isn’t easy on the patients and their families, but it’s the life we LIVE!
Since my last update we have received the letter back from my donor family and we’re happy to say they want to stay in touch and further the communication. Rowan (my donor) lives on in me.
I’ve had some bumps in the road, mild rejection, lung infection, sinus surgery due to a fungal infection, and some other issues.
Thankfully my one year check up showed no rejection and no infection and an awesome PFT (pulmonary function test). While doing my vitals, my blood oxygen level was 100%! What a gift!!
Thank you everyone for your prayers, love, support, cards, texts, calls, just everything!!!
The journey marches forward.
December 21, 2017
Team PJ update
Wow! It’s been 7 months now that I was transplanted. I’m always thankful for the blessing of my donor and the family. Our journey has been filled with blessings of joy, happiness, sadness, minor setbacks, great accomplishments & overwhelming love.
God is so amazing in every way! He gives us days filled with sunshine, cool cloud formations, trails throughout the natural beauty of this earth, and awesome people to share our blessings with and help us through the trying times.
I have an unbelievable partner, Kathy, to walk with me on this journey, who knows all of the highs and lows. For the record the highs out weigh the lows by far!! Our boys Chris and Brad, have shown great strength and courage in the way they handled themselves throughout this ordeal. Their love has helped us through this more than they know.
We had a fantastic day at the Welcome Home Golf tournament on October 2nd. Special thanks to Tom and his crew and all the participants. I also want to thank Emily….we are so thankful for her artistic talents and for the time spent supporting us throughout this journey.
We enjoyed a weekend on Cape Cod for the Oyster Fest with Steph, Bob, Marybeth & Marty. We had morning coffee looking at the ocean with easy conversation, we enjoyed the beauty of the sunsets, board games, and just hanging out.
Throughout this journey I’ve shared many special times with my siblings Joe, JoAnn & Pammy, talking, laughing, having lunch and just spending time together. I also cannot say enough about Mom & Dad (Scozz) and their endless prayers, support, and love.
I got clearance to fly in November …first destination – San Diego to see Brad!We celebrated Kathy’s birthday and our 31st wedding anniversary hiking Torrey Pines. So happy to do that with my girl! We shared great times with Brad, Natalie, Marybeth, Marty, Pete & Debbie.
We headed down to Duke for my 6 month check up in November. I received a diagnosis of low level rejection (minor setback). Treatment was very high doses of IV steroids for 3 days. I did experience some not so good side effects including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, shakes and feeling like I was in a fog for 2 weeks. While in NC we always have the pleasure of spending time with Tom, Karen and family (Amazing). Visiting the rehabilitation center and the hospital to see the nurses, doctors, and patients always warms our hearts as well. Also had a chance to go to ICU to visit with my rehab buddy Serena (Godspeed on recovery) we prayed with her and gave her a big shot of encouragement!
Another highlight post transplant was going to dinner and the Amos Lee concert with Christopher, Rich & Dan. We had great conversation and Amos Lee was amazing! Seeing him had special meaning to me because Amos Lee was the music I requested as I laid there on the operating table before surgery started. I’m so thankful I got to see him and share it with my son Christopher and two special people in my life.
I also got to participate in the Southbury Turkey Trot with Kathy, Chris, Joe, and Spencer & 2000 plus others. Trot was an over statement, Haha more like walk for sure!
I realize that all of this would not have been possible without my donor, my family, my friends, and of course my amazing doctors at Duke. I am forever grateful for this second chance in life. God bless you all!
Till the next update, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
September 7, 2017
Here we are 16 weeks from one of the most serious surgical procedures a person can have. Patrick receiving new lungs still seems surreal to us, although the reality of it is beginning to sink in. He had his three month post transplant visit at Duke and the bronchoscopy showed no signs of rejection or infection, which is FANTASTIC news! He continues to exercise and work out every day and follow his medication regimen which is extensive. The healing continues and there have been a few small bumps in the road, but we stay strong and persevere. We have been abundantly blessed by our family and friends, the people we’ve met, the places this journey has taken us, and the constant love and support we’ve received. We will be back at Duke in November for another bronchoscopy and other tests. We are beginning to get comfortable with our new life and new normal. We think of each day as a gift! We ask for prayers as this journey continues. We send our love to everyone and especially thank God for his constant companionship. Team PJ…still going strong!!
July 2, 2017
It has now been six weeks since Patrick’s bilateral lung transplant. Some days we are in disbelief that this has all happened. Each day he gets stronger and heals a little more. He has worked extremely hard at pulmonary rehab for the last four weeks and will graduate on Wednesday – sooner than expected of course! He works out on the treadmill, bike, and elliptical (with NO oxygen!) and does arm and leg strengthening exercises. He is getting strong and keeping his new lungs in great shape! He has formed some lasting bonds with the other lung transplant patients and has been an inspiration for many of them. I too have become friends with some of the other caregivers. As strange as this may sound, this has been a blessing in our lives in many ways. We have experienced the unconditional love of our family through all of this and have stronger bonds than ever before. And, God has put some truly special people on our path including the doctors and nurses at Duke. Patrick has not experienced any rejection to this point and we are grateful for that. It is so incredible to see him breathing normally and not struggling anymore. What a gift we have been given. Our thoughts are always with his donor and we hope to contact the family some day. We give thanks to God every day for where we are now as we look back on where we were not that long ago. We trust in God that He will continue to grace us with His love and blessings, and we hope to bring those blessings to others in some way for all that has been given to us. Thank you Team PJ supporters!
June 5, 2017
Patrick begins pulmonary rehab this week. The Duke center for rehabilitation is excellent and he will attend sessions for working his muscles and his new lungs daily. We also have weekly visits to Duke Clinic for his post transplant care when we’ll see his pulmonologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, and post transplant coordinator. He will also do pulmonary function tests as well as some other required assessments for after the surgery. The staples will remain in his incision for at least six more weeks, but it’s healing nicely. He is of course on many medications that are preventing rejection and infection and he seems to be tolerating them well for the most part. We are in temporary housing (a nice little apartment) at this point as we felt that was best for after the surgery. He has to be very careful not to contract any infections and wear a mask when appropriate. It was so nice being at my brother and sister-in-law’s house before the surgery and we miss them…but they are not far and still continue to take care of us! Patrick is off to an amazing start on this long road and I continue to be amazed at his strength. I know it comes from God and the love of our family and friends. He is surrounded by unbelievable people – starting with our boys and the rest of our family to the Duke staff and other patients we’ve met along the way. Seems God has put many people on our path that we are impacted by almost every day. Let the healing begin… go Team PJ!!
June 5, 2017
Wow! A lot has happened since my update from a few days ago!! PJ continues on the fast track as he has through this whole process, and was released from the hospital on Friday afternoon!! The team of doctors and surgeons were extremely pleased with his progress and determination – discharged in 2 weeks might be a record for a lung transplant patient! The care he received was exemplary – from the transplant team, to the surgeons, to the nurses (angels of the hospital as PJ calls them) – they all truly showed care for him from their hearts. We are now in the next phase of this journey – the healing and recovery, and the realization that a new life begins for us. We are forever changed by this…and so thankful to God and our family and friends. We send our LOVE and BLESSINGS to all of you!
June 1, 2017
It has been two weeks since Patrick received his new lungs. He has been given a remarkable gift – a second chance at life and we are forever grateful for this blessing. Our boys, Patrick’s siblings, my brother and his family, and my parents were all here the first week, so the love and support has been the best thing for his recovery. There have been some bumps in the road since the surgery, but all minor considering the enormity of this type of operation. He was experiencing atrial fibrillation for a number of days, however it seems to be under control now. The last of seven chest tubes was taken out this week and he was happy! The doctors are helping him with pain management and he is getting used to all the anti rejection meds that he will continue to take. He has made remarkable progress and the doctors and staff at Duke are amazed at how well he is doing. He has been able to eat regular food since Day 3 and that is a big accomplishment after transplant surgery. He has been walking since Day 2 (a requirement after surgery) and is now up to 30 laps around the floor! He is the star patient of the 7 East Floor at Duke! Doctors are aiming for a release date of early next week. We will remain here for the next three months for follow up visits at Duke Clinic and for pulmonary rehabilitation. He is feeling good and it is so great to see him breathe deeply and normally as he has been blessed with these new lungs! Thank you all once again for your continued prayers, love, positive thoughts, and kindness. Go Team PJ!!
May 22, 2017
THANK YOU everyone for your prayers, love, and heartwarming thoughts for PJ. He now has new lungs!! Surgery went very well and he is making excellent progress. Day two in ICU and he will be up and walking today. We will always keep his donor in our hearts and are immensely grateful for this new chance at life. We continue to thank God for the many blessings we’ve had on this journey. Go Team PJ!!
May 9, 2017
The journey for Patrick is moving along. We are now on the next phase as we arrived in North Carolina (Duke Medical Center) on April 25th. After the amazing support of our family and friends at home, our family down here welcomed us with open arms. We have been here for two weeks and it’s been a whirlwind of appointments, tests, and pulmonary rehab for Patrick. We are also both attending lung transplant classes every day. The team at Duke is extremely thorough in their pre-transplant preparation. We feel blessed to be here and know he is getting the care and treatment that he needs.
All recent test results have been good. Many of the doctors and those on the transplant team are amazed at how strong Patrick is – they say he is an excellent candidate for a lung transplant. THE BEST NEWS is that Patrick will most likely be placed on the Duke transplant list some time this week or next! Wait time for new lungs on average here is about 2-3 weeks. However, it is different for every patient and could be as long as a couple of months or more.
We had a spectacular turnout for the fundraising dinner at Mazzo. It was so heartwarming to see so many people in attendance showing their love and support – the overall feeling in the room that evening was of joy and a sense of unity for Patrick. It was a very successful night and we send out a HUGE THANK YOU to all who were able to come and support us in so many different ways. We also recently had another fundraiser – a We Care 5K race – in Patrick’s honor organized by the Brookfield High School National Honor Society that also had a wonderful turnout.
We truly feel that the love and support of everyone, along with our faith in God is integral to our moving forward with positivity and strength. Thank you all for your continued prayers and good wishes.
April 10, 2017
Patrick’s journey toward a lung transplant continues. We spent a week at Duke University Medical Center participating in a transplant evaluation. As a result of the evaluation, they have now accepted him into their lung transplant program – this is the news we were hoping for! In a couple of weeks, we will be temporarily relocating to the Durham area in North Carolina for Patrick to begin Duke’s pulmonary rehabilitation program – intense workouts for 4 hours a day – 5 days a week! He is ready for the challenge as he has been attending pulmonary rehab at Yale. Once he has completed that program and we’ve both attended the transplant education classes, he will be ready to be placed on Duke’s lung transplant list. We continue to feel blessed and pray for a successful transplant.
The support for Patrick continues in amazing ways! We are moving along in this fundraising effort with assistance from so many. Chris and Emily held a successful March Madness fundraiser and a dear friend Maria, hosted a cut-a-thon at Escape Salon in Bethel in honor of Patrick. In addition, the Women’s Club and Garden Club at Oxford Greens hosted a luncheon with proceeds going toward our fund (thank you Diane!) and this weekend Chris and Emily’s friend held a Pilates class with all proceeds going to our lung transplant fund. The fund continues to grow and we thank you all for the kindness that’s in your hearts and for your willingness to help.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the dinner on April 21st! THANK YOU to all of you for this continuing display of love and care for Patrick and our family while we make our way along this journey.
March 20, 2017
This incredible demonstration of support, love, and encouragement has gone far beyond our expectations. We’ve surpassed our goal!! In addition, we’ve received many notes, letters, and expressions of kindness from so many. How blessed we are to experience this display of the spirit of God at work in our lives. This is the reason that Patrick is able to stay strong and persevere through his illness in an extraordinary way. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We are extremely excited to report that the fundraising dinner at Mazzo on April 21st is already SOLD OUT! On line registration is now CLOSED. Thank you everyone!
March 6, 2017
We are getting so close to our goal! This is amazing! There aren’t words adequate enough to express our thankfulness. It is with the support and well wishes of all of you that we are moving along on this journey with optimism and faith. Last week, Patrick was officially placed on the transplant list at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NY. This is exciting news as things are starting to move in the right direction for him. Since patients can be listed at more than one hospital, we are heading to Duke University Medical Center next week to complete another transplant evaluation. Please continue to keep Patrick in your thoughts and prayers.
The sentiments expressed on this page from so many of you have been very uplifting for Patrick. Our family has enjoyed reading them and they remind us of how truly blessed we are. Thank you again for your continued love and support.
**There are still tickets available for the dinner at Mazzo on Friday, April 21st, however it’s filling up fast. We have some great silent auction items and raffle prizes. We hope to see you there to support Patrick! You can register on this page under fundraising activities.
February 19, 2017
We continue to be amazed at the generosity of all of you in supporting and donating to this campaign for Patrick. He is feeling good, trying to stay active, and participating in pulmonary rehabilitation in order to keep his body in the best possible shape for lung transplantation. He is still waiting to be placed on the transplant list and his doctors say that could be soon.
We hope to see you at the dinner at Mazzo Pizzeria and Wine Bar in Danbury on Friday, April 21st from 6:00-10:00. You can purchase tickets on this page under Fundraising Activities. Your support is greatly appreciated and truly makes a difference. The care and concern shown by all of you fills our hearts!
February 13, 2017
We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support at the start of this campaign for P.J. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, heartwarming comments, and donations. We feel so blessed!
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