Tom Needs Your Help
Tom’s life was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease in the beginning of 2017. His condition worsened quickly to the point where he had no choice but to retire from his job in an assisted living facility. He was told that his only hope for survival was to receive a liver transplant.
July 10, 2018
So sorry it’s been so long since we have updated you on Tom. It’s been a rough week and a half for him. Until this episode, he has been going to the hospital for his weekly paracentesis (draining of his abdomen) but maintaining at home. Two Wednesdays ago, however, he had his first bout with hepatic encephalopathy, a condition that can happen commonly to those struggling with liver failure – basically a form of confusion brought on when the liver cannot filter out toxins, primarily ammonia. While both of us were out of town, one of Tom’s friends went over to check on him and found him in a very confused state, so she called 911 and had an ambulance take him to the hospital where they found that a lot of his numbers were way “off” – ammonia, potassium, blood sugar, and heart rate. They admitted him to ICU in critical condition, but quickly worked to get him stabilized– by that Saturday, they had moved him to a regular floor and he was fully coherent. He was treated for an infection and for some dehydration (both of which could have played a role in triggering the high ammonia levels as well), and he is on the mend, albeit a slow one. He has been completely bedridden for the past week and a half, so the next step is for him to go to a rehab facility nearby for 2 weeks to ease back into normal daily life. He has wonderful doctors and nurses taking good care of him, so we are truly thankful for the care that he has received thus far.
Please pray for:
1) Complete healing of all infections/wounds – he has an infection that we are waiting on to completely heal, as well as some sores in his mouth and throat (which greatly affect his eating and drinking) – infections can trigger his ammonia to increase, thus triggering confusion
2) His appetite to increase – in order to get stronger, he needs adequate nutrition/hydration – dehydration can also trigger confusion
3) Pain relief – complications as a result of his condition
4) Truly restful sleep
5) An increase in his activity level (in whatever ways are possible)
6) His heart to be encouraged, his mind to be uplifted, and his will to be strengthened – staying in a hospital and not being in your own home for so long can take its toll, just as having an illness like this can over the course of 2 years
7) A new liver
8) Some relief from financial stress related to medical bills – this will be a life-long concern for Tom, as he will have large medical bills for the rest of his life due to pre-transplant procedures/medications, the transplant itself, and post-transplant medications.
If you would like to send him an encouraging card or note, please send them to Thomas Curnutte, 13502 Knottinghill Drive, Sugar Land TX 77498. We continue to appreciate your prayers, friends.
Greg & Michelle
March 7, 2018
Good news, friends! Tom has officially been listed for liver transplant (with kidney listing pending, depending on how it functions during the wait for his liver). Fortunately, his kidneys have improved a bit, so unless their function drops again, we are currently looking at a single-organ transplant. We are so, so excited about this step of being listed, as we have been anxiously waiting for it since his diagnosis in March 2017. We still have no idea on the timing of the transplant — it could literally happen at any time, although due to his blood type and the fairly “stable” maintenance of his liver at this point, they have told us not to be surprised if it is still a year into the future.
So what does life look like right now for Tom? A LOT of waiting, constant blood tests and lab work, routine doctors visits (hepatologist, hematologist, endocrinologist, nephrologist….you name it, he’s probably seeing them), and weekly paracentesis procedures (draining fluid from the abdomen since the liver and kidneys are not able to drain it themselves). And as you can guess, all of this pre-transplant work is incredibly expensive. These procedures will continue on a weekly basis until transplant, which means that the cost will continue to be an ongoing burden. Without the weekly paracentesis, he would be in the hospital once or twice a month because of how uncomfortable it is to carry that much fluid.
We are so grateful to those of you who have already contributed to Tom’s fund. We have been so blessed to have friends and family like you to help him through his journey. These funds have already helped to cut down on some of the overwhelming costs. Thank you for your continued generosity!
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July 11, 2018
Lifting Tom up in prayer. He will be added to our church's prayer list this morning. Thank you for sharing this.