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I who was born June 17, 1988 with several birth defects that affected the mid-line of my body known as VACTER syndrome. Each letter represents a different part of the anatomy and of the five letters, I have four of the anomalies.

In my early years of life, I had four bowel surgeries, tracheal surgery, four open heart surgeries, and over 10 other heart related procedures.

Updates (8)

August 9, 2020

As you are all aware, my mom and I went to UCLA the week of July 19th for evaluation for my heart and liver transplant. We started the evaluation on Monday with meetings with doctors and blood work, etc. On Tuesday, I was scheduled for a heart cath, liver biopsy, endoscopy and an esophageal echo. My mom said that the procedures were really long as I was taken back at 7:30 am and didn’t get out from the procedure until 2:15 pm. Mom was getting really worried, and then the doctor came and talked to her. Everything went ok and they actually coiled a couple of my collaterals which is why it took so long. The doctors insisted, not recommended that I get admitted and finish the evaluation while being in the hospital. When I found out that was the plan, I was pretty upset that I would have to stay in the hospital. At the time, I did not realize that I was not going to come back to Delaware at all and stay in the hospital.

My mom went back to Delaware after a week and packed all our stuff up to bring back to California. While she was in Delaware, I had a PICC line put in, had another endoscopy, and then I finally got the great news that I was approved for listing. I then had another heart catherization to have the rest of the collaterals coiled. It was a really really tough week especially being by myself, but I am now officially listed for transplant as a Status 2 which is pretty high up on the list.

The plan is for me to stay in the hospital while waiting for transplant. They have no idea how long the wait will be; however, they say that Californian’s are more likely to be organ donors but finding just the perfect match for me is really important. I could be waiting weeks to months.

My mom got back about a week ago and her car arrived on Thursday which had my Play Station in it so now to help pass the time, I can play some games and watch movies. I’m working a little everyday, but I have to get into a routine. My mom brought me cards and pictures made by Emma, Jenna and Henry and I have them hanging up in my room. I love them! If you want to send me an e-card, you can do it through the hospital for free. The website is: www.uclahealth.org/ecards. Click on the categories of cards, pick a card, write a message and following the directions. It’s that easy. You will need my full name and email which is: Ross Rudnitsky and my email is [email protected] I think we should circulate this information and have it go viral so that I get in the Guinness Book of World Records for getting the most ecards at UCLA (if there is such a thing). You can also reach out to me by Facetime, Zoom, or Duo as I would love to see and talk to everyone!

My mom is looking for a long-term place to live but it’s really expensive here in LA so any funds donated to Help Hope Live will help me post-transplant with all of my un-reimbursed medical expenses which will be a lot!

I want to thank everyone for following and supporting me and my mom on this journey. I know it won’t be easy but I’m looking forward to feeling great for the first time in my life.

July 2, 2020

Hi everyone! I know it has been a while since my last update but wanted to bring everyone up-to-date on what has been going on. In the early part of the year, we were working on trying to get to a few new hospitals so I could hopefully get listed again for my heart/liver transplant. We were supposed to go to UCLA in early April, but due to COVID it was postponed. I found out last week that we are heading to California on July 19th for a week for evaluation and testing. I will be a human pin-cushion as I’ll be going through a heart cath, liver biopsy, endoscopy, major blood work, CT scans, x-rays and a bunch of other tests and meetings. Hopefully, everything will go well and I’ll be able to be listed which means we’d have to move out there. On a work front, I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to work from home and have pretty much staying in my place since I’m at particular risk. I’ve also been fighting a little bit of fluid and developed a cough about a month ago and am going for testing at Penn on Tuesday to make sure it isn’t fluid building in my belly and lungs. I’ve posted a picture of my quarantine hair as well as a picture after I finally got it cut last week. I’ll be posting more over the next month as we go through the testing and hopefully taking the next steps to be listed. Thank you for everyone’s on-going support and love! Ross

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Guestbook

August 4, 2020

California is where dreams come true!!! You've got this, Ross!!! Cheering you on, ~ The Kutz Family

Bethany Kutz

July 17, 2020

All of us at T. A. Austin Plumbing, Inc. wish you the very best.

Thomas & Amy Francisconi

June 19, 2020

You're the man Ross. Thinking of you.

Jason Horowitz

June 19, 2020

Best of luck to you, Mr. Rudnitsky

David Giattino