Family and friends of Steve Meacham are trying to raise money to pay for uninsured medical expenses associated with his heart transplant.
Thank you for viewing Steve’s webpage!
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November 25, 2017 – Our neighbor’s wife passed, and so did our kind and generous neighbor. Steve’s beloved mother-in-law and his own mother passed away since the last post, they are dearly missed. Steve is in urgent need of donations to the fund for medications. Happy Holidays!
November 18, 2014 – Steve has been busy helping his elderly neighbor, whose wife suffered a severe stroke. Since the neurologist told Steve he has deficiencies due to extended periods of lack of oxygen, (hypoxia) Steve better understands why he is unable to return to his previous work activities. However, he finds time to help his neighbors in any manner he can. He feels it is important to give back to his community and he says the time he spends helping others makes him feel really good!
Steve is requesting contributions to his fund in anticipation of having a 4th annual transplant checkup with his medical team in Santa Clara, Ca. in February. 4 years!
June 25, 2014 – Steve went to Santa Clara Kaiser due to concerns he was having, and his transplant team checked him out. He stayed overnight for his appointments and left the next day, satisfied he was not in rejection and grateful for such a good heart care team.
March 1, 2014 – No heart biopsy this time! That is good news, Steve is doing well enough with no rejection symptoms that the doctor did only the right & left heart catheterizations. He made the trip and spent 2 nights in Santa Clara at the motel near Kaiser. He had an echo-cardiogram and a clinic visit to complete his annual exam. He now only has to go back every 6 months for a check-up! There were no modifications to his medications (he takes 39 pills a day now, that’s plenty, right?) and they referred him to Neurology for an assessment. He went to neurology and they set an appointment for a brain MRI and detailed neurological/psyche evaluation to determine any deficits he may have due to his extended CPR (65 minutes) in August 2010 and related hypoxia events. Overall the annual check-up went very well!
December 8, 2013 – Steve has a right & left heart catheterization and heart biopsy due in February, for his 3rd annual check-up which also includes an echocardiogram. This will be a two day visit to Santa Clara Kaiser Hospital and he will need lodging nearby. He will need pre-testing lab work and an EKG. He has been managing his lab test levels well, but his blood pressure has been running high lately and changes have been made to increase some of his medications. This has been a topic of conversations between he and the clinic nurses. His heart rate stays between 90-108 which is fast while at rest; this would make most of us feel uncomfortable. His heart rate is somewhat managed with medications as some of the nerves that give his body information are not attached. His heart is happy though, it just chugs along, beating strong & steady as it naturally wants to do! He is so thankful he has a strong, new heart. His prograf (one of the anti-rejection meds) level is back to a good range and his tremors are decreased!
Update: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 – Steve had a checkup at Santa Clara Kaiser and he is doing well. They adjusted his anti-rejection medication because the level was creeping lower so they increased his dosage. He has a slight tremor in his hands now due to the higher dosage but it’s not as bad as when he was in the hospital and couldn’t feed himself with a spoon! It all ended up in his lap. He goes in for minor knee surgery tomorrow and will be recovering for 4-6 weeks and the hope is he will be more active with less pain!
Update: Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Steve continues to feel good and he has started to take his motorcycle apart as a hobby. He has been working on extending the fender and is using bondo and resin finishes. He hasn’t done this type of project (body work) before and so it has been a trial and error for him, but it is an excellent project that holds his interest. His friend Mark has been coming over to help him and give advice. Overall he has very enjoyable days he spends in the garage tinkering, when the weather is not too hot. His medicines are working perfectly right now as he has no rejection and few side effects.
Update: Monday, March 11th, 2013. The 2 year annual checkup went very well!! Steve passed his stress test and his lab test results look good. The number for his rejection was a bit high but once before it was high and they called him in for a heart biopsy and the results were normal so, no biopsy. There is a blood test he has to get that gives information about the donor antibodies so he will get those results during the next two weeks. Overall, he is improving but he still doesn’t feel that he has as much energy as he’d like so he has increased his walking to lose weight. Oddly… when at Stanford prior to transplant he was malnourished, could not sit up without help, and now he’s heavy. Searching for the happy medium!!
Update: Monday, February 25th, 2013. Steve will visit Santa Clara Kaiser Hospital’s heart transplant clinic tomorrow for his 2 year check-up. He had a stress test on his heart last week. They did not require the Allomap test as they have revised their protocol. Tomorrow he will have a right heart catheterization and labs will be drawn (blood test), echocardiogram and a clinic follow-up visit where he will receive the results of his tests. He is not anxious at all, he is excited to get his exam and thinks everything will turn out ok. He is happy to be here!
And, he has received donations to his fund, thank you so much!!! So he can pay for this trip!!
Update: Friday, January 4th, 2013. Steve is anticipating his February appointment for his 2-year checkup with the Kaiser transplant team in Santa Clara. WOW!! He will have a right-heart catheterization along with a battery of tests. Planning ahead for the trip by making a reservation for overnight at the Maple Tree Inn in Sunnyvale because they give Kaiser patients a rate of less than $100 a night. He will have his Allomap testing done to determine if he is in rejection. Steve is hoping to get reimbursed from the fund for the Valcyte medication he had to take in June/July which cost $662.45 – for 30 day supply…certainly he will have some luck with donations to his fund that will cover this! Then he will use the money toward his February trips for annual check-ups.
Update: Saturday, December 29th, 2012. Steve is on a regular schedule and is walking with Kopper 3-4 days a week. He got a new bed at the beginning of August and it has helped him be more comfortable while he rests. He still has insomnia. The most wonderful happening so far this fall was a motorcycle trip he took with his good friend, Mark. They rode up to Washington (he wasn’t sure he would bear the long trip) and visited Mark’s family and Steve saw his friends the Millers in Westport and his best buddy Richard, who was instrumental in Steve’s recovery. Richard was steadfast in his cheerful efforts to gather spirited prayers and best wishes that were sent Steve’s way from the moment he fell so ill in August of 2010. It was great for Steve and Richard to spend a little time together, face-to-face. Now that Steve is home he spends his days working on projects around the house and is interested in welding again. He would like to get a part-time job to help stay busy and make a contribution. He does not feel that he can physically work very long. He has had no rejection lately!!
Update: Friday, June 15th, 2012. Steve has been sleeping til 10 when he can. The bed is lumpy and it’s the same one he’s rolled out of for the last 11 years. When he gets up he says his back hurts. Time for a new bed, need to start saving $$ for it. He will get new hearing aids this month, his old ones lasted over 10 years which is crazy, but they’re done. He got new glasses. He is getting newly accessorized so he can see and hear better, enjoy! He applied for MFAP, an assistance program through Kaiser Permanente that helps cover prescription and Dr. visit costs. He called them yesterday to see if he has been approved, but not yet. He is hoping they’ll cover his Valcyte medicine, cost is over $500 last month and he is almost out so he’s hoping to get the assistance. The meds are all working great!
Update: Sunday, March 25th, 2012: The Kaiser nurses say the Immune Cell Function test results are within range. This is good, the function was running low which makes him more at risk for illness. Steve takes his vital signs every morning, again before bed. Every day. Blood pressure, heart rate, temperature. He tests his blood sugar level before each meal. He weighs himself every day to watch for any sudden increase. Then he writes down all the numbers in a log book. He is diligent. He takes his pills at 8, 10, 5 and 10. When he leaves his house he packs up a little container ‘to go’. He really has this down to a program for his daily living. Some days with his head bowed he takes a little extra time at the table. He hopes to drive to Napa and visit his mother today.
Update: March 1st, 2012: Silverado Brewing Company hosted the ‘Dine & Donate’ fundraiser for Steve, one week ago in St. Helena! The turnout was nice and there were a lot of friends and family that enjoyed a meal, a portion of the proceeds will go to Steve’s fund. The family, Steve’s daughter-in-law Elsa and her friend Heather were such leaders in the effort and made everything so nice. The owners and their managers at the Brewing Company are the best!
Update: Wednesday, February 15th, 2012: Steve is laying on the bed at Kaiser Santa Clara, resting by doctor’s orders after his right & left heart catheterization and angiogram. He had a biopsy too. All of this is part of his annual check-up! All the walking is paying off, he is able to keep his arteries clear among other benefits of walking the dog! So, they take a little snip of the heart tissue to biopsy and determine if there are cells attacking the muscle – that would mean rejection, which can be treated. The catheterization is to measure the pressures and flow, the angiogram to see if there is any narrowing or blockage of the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries is something the heart transplantees must be vigilant about, as is can be a silent problem so they check him annually. He has to remain flat with no exertion for 3.5 hours after the procedure. He had a great Valentine’s Day celebration, nice Italian dinner with his honey, toasting (water only) one year anniversary! Silverado Brewing Company in St. Helena is hosting a ‘Dine & Donate’ fundraiser for Steve next week! Don’t miss the flyer!
Update: Thursday, December 29th, 2011:Cannot believe the new year is almost here! Steve is on a regimen of 52 pills a day. Most are either anti-rejection, anti-viral and anti-bacterial, or maintain blood pressure and heart rate. His heart is just gallopin’ along, it is strong and keeps Steve’s hands and feet warm. The small things you miss when your heart is weak. Steve had a great dinner on Christmas Eve, one that included the company of both his mother Irene of Napa and his mother-in-law Marian of Calistoga! There were 8 grandchildren, nieces and friends along with all four adult kids and their spouses and friends. What a wonderful visit, and each child received a stocking stuffed full of goodies and the secret santa gift exchange was exciting to watch! Steve is feeling really well and life is becoming filled with more normal activities each week! Life is becoming more comfortable – not to constantly worry – for years – about the end-stage heart failure issues, some sudden, that plagued each day before the gift of transplantation. God please love and bless the donor family who gave Steve this life!
Update: Thursday, November 17, 2011: Steve is excited about the upcoming holiday season! He is looking forward to enjoying holiday dinner with his brother Gil, sister Cheryl and their families at his mother Irene’s home in Napa. He drove to Napa today to run errands. He goes for walks and is watching his diet carefully, counting calories and sodium content of the food he eats and exercising more. Even though he suffered from malnutrition while he was in critical condition at Stanford, he now has packed on more weight than the doctors like. So, he is being proactive and will drop the excess pounds until the doctors like what they see on the scale. He really needs a fundraiser, the fund is nearly empty and his medication costs are very high. He said he felt like crying when he left Kaiser, he needed to pick up one of his medicines and it cost $382 which he did not have. He was able to finally get it without missing any doses (he got it the same day he ran completely out), and the social worker at Kaiser was prepared to contact the drug manufacturer who may have been willing to donate the drug. With more donations to his fund, Steve could make arrangements in advance to get the medicine. He needs some help.
Update: Wednesday, October 5, 2011: Steve is feeling great! He is driving himself to Napa Kaiser (took his buddy Kopper with him) so they can draw his labs – white blood cell levels to determine if he is over-immunosuppressed, and his minerals. They reduced one of his immunosuppressants (his level was too high) and told him not to be around crowds unless he is wearing a mask because of the risk of infection to himself. He walked for 40 minutes yesterday! He has gained weight.
Update: Saturday, August 13th, 2011: Steve missed the group meeting. He went straight home and went to bed. He spiked a fever of 102 and nurse Tramell sent him to the ER in Santa Rosa, they found him a bed. He is being treated with IV antibiotics. They took a biopsy from his lower lip, his cheeks and lip are very swollen. They are supposed to take another blood test to determine the level of immunosuppressants and adjust the level as needed. The transplant coordinator and cardiologist Dr. Kale at Santa Clara Kaiser are working with the Santa Rosa doctors, creating Steve’s care plan. 6 days in the hospital.
Update: Monday, August 7th, 2011: Steve talked to Dr. Weisshaar over the weekend, the medical director at Heart Transplant Services for Kaiser at Santa Clara, Ca. She’s the greatest! After reviewing the blood tests she recommended reducing the anti-rejection drugs 25-30% due to Steve’s high level of immuno-suppression. His main concern is dizziness, he has viral and bacterial infections that are lingering, he’s in a lot of pain and is really tired, so today he visited the Santa Clara clinic for a checkup. They gave him some additional medications and scheduled a follow up visit tomorrow for a dermatologist to look at the sores in his mouth, more blood work to check the level of immuno-supressants, a meeting with his favorite psychologist, Flavio, and then the highlight of our day will be the monthly group meeting of heart failure/heart transplant patients. We always learn new tips & tricks and hear fascinating stories, and they have speakers on various topics related to heart failure and post transplant issues. We will skip the meeting if Steve is not well enough and just head home. It’s a long drive when you’re not feeling up to snuff.
Update: Tuesday, July 26, 2011: Steve has continued a pretty steady dose of anti-rejection drugs. He is no longer taking prednisone. He has small infections starting up in a couple of places including his mouth, (ouch!) for which he visited Dr. Cotter in Napa yesterday. Dr. Cotter is the most wonderful doctor at Kaiser in Napa. He takes great care of Steve. So, he took a culture, ordered blood tests and gave 2 new medications to calm the infection and relieve the pain. Doc says Steve’s immune system doesn’t fight infection anymore like ours does, it is suppressed so he is really susceptible to infection. Overall, Steve is doing well, really well, when you consider the last year’s events in his life!
Update: Friday, July 1, 2011: Steve has good energy and has been feeling pretty chipper for over a week now! He is going for walks in the local campground area where the gravel roads are shaded by large trees. Kopper accompanies him and insists Steve throw a stick for him to fetch! Yesterday Steve rode his old Harley trike down to the local post office and then went to Pope Valley Repair to visit with his buddies! He was very tired later on, but very satisfied. Today is Steve’s last Cytogam infusion so he is off to Santa Rosa. Next week is his monthly check-up in Santa Clara at Kaiser. He is beginning to believe there will be more energy and stamina in life as he continues to improve.
Update: Monday, June 6th, 2011: Steve is going to Santa Rosa today for another infusion of Cytogam – the only difference he and his donor have with regard to a match was that his donor was exposed to the CMV virus and Steve had not been.. so the infusion takes up to 4 hours, he has a total of 6 infusions. He and his donor are VERY compatible. We are so thankful for that, so many transplantees have more important issues. Steve has been taking it easy, mostly in bed watching the races (drags are his favorite, NASCAR is great too!) due to an infection for which he is taking antibiotics and bedrest for 21 days. So far, so good. He will have his Allomap done today in Santa Rosa for the first time, it gives a comparison to a baseline of certain components in the blood so the doctors can interpret whether he is in rejection or not. It is much less invasive than biopsy and will allow Steve to go longer between heart biopsies, and, the Allomap lab is located much closer to home! Steve has been home for 2 months and a week!
Update: Friday, May 13th, 2011: Heartfelt thanks (hardy har har) to all who care to read up on how Steve is doing! He went by the Pope Valley Fire Department to give thanks for their dedication and rapid response to his home when he got so suddenly ill. Although he does not remember that night (nor much of the previous month and two months afterward) he knows PVFD and Angwin Ambulance folks have enormous talent and they would not give up on him that night. God Bless them all and may they know in their hearts that Steve and his family will always be grateful. He will celebrate 3 months post-transplant on Sunday!
Update: Wednesday, April 26th, 2011. Steve survived the prednisone dosage and although the emotional ups and downs were very difficult, (there was only minor hollering and a few insults) the moderate rejection has subsided! Steve has more energy and is feeling well enough most days to do minor chores in & outside the house. He is still fighting to get a full night’s sleep but he is happy and thankful. He celebrated Easter Sunday with his family and dinner at mom’s house in Napa.
Update: Friday, April 8th, 2011. Today Steve is staying busy around the house. Over the past week has has been extremely tired and was falling asleep repeatedly during the day. He had his bi-monthly heart biopsy done on Monday in Santa Clara and the nurse called Tuesday to say he is having moderate rejection of the heart. We are driving to Kaiser in Santa Rosa for one hour infusions of Prednisone megadoses, for three days in a row. This will calm the rejection. It seems to give him alot of energy, it is a steroid medication. We are told that this type of cellular rejection is not uncommon, so we are trying to just grin and bear it; it is upsetting but we keep the faith! While at the hospital, Steve wears his filtration mask to keep him safe from infection.
Update: Thursday, March 24th, 2011. Steve was released to go home today! After a long and rainy drive over the freeways of the south and east bay area, along the beautiful stretch of Silverado Trail in Napa County, Steve finally returned home to Pope Valley. A long, long journey since August when he was so very ill. Now he is stronger than he was in July 2010 and is continuing to improve. Each day he feels better! Transplant is such a miracle. Steve’s granddaughter, Skylar, stopped by on Thursday to say hello, she was walking door to door in the area to sell pasta for Steve’s fundraiser! What a sweetheart! Steve is taking some time to settle in and looks forward to seeing some of his very good friends and neighbors.
Update: Thursday, March 17th, 2011. Unbelievable progress! To look at him, you would not guess he was transplanted 30 days ago! Tuesday Steve had his 3rd weekly biopsy to check for rejection. Yesterday the nurse called to say there was slight rejection, so the Cellcept and Prednisone were increased for 3 days to improve the immunosuppressant level in his body. He slept not, last night, one of the side effects of the meds. He still went for a walk at the marina with Kopper, to maintain his exercise level and continue to improve his strength. Many cards and letters have been coming to Steve here in Sunnyvale, from all over the U.S. with wishes for a speedy recovery and they are a reminder of his good friends Richard and Theresa who have been a constant, positive influence in Steve’s recovery. Thank you ALL!
Update: Thursday, February 23rd, 2011. Steve is progressing well and was released from Stanford today! He is staying in Sunnyvale at a hotel near Kaiser Hospital and the heart transplant service that is taking care of him. Steve is starting his new lifestyle with a strong heart and he is tremendously grateful to the donor and family who gave him the gift of life. Becoming a donor is a selfless, profoundly generous and gracious act. More of us should do it. Steve is taking immuno-suppressing drugs that will reduce the chance of rejection of the new heart. He is laying low and taking it slow for the first few months so he doesn’t get sick, as he is succeptible to viruses and infections of all kinds. He went to the pharmacy and got 16 prescriptions to take, so keeping everything in order is a task!
Update: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011. STEVE WAS TRANSPLANTED YESTERDAY! Dr. Ha from Stanford called early evening on VALENTINE’S DAY! ‘We have a heart for you.” Steve was shaking, relieved, scared, thankful. He went directly to Stanford where his room was waiting and the next morning they took him to the operating room. His transplant surgery was 10 hours long. He slept through the night and the following morning he got his breathing tube out, he was talking to the doctors and making jokes. He sat up and ate lunch! He is on a fast-track to recovery. What an amazing journey! What a magnificent gift his donor has given him, Steve and his family will always be grateful.
Update: Wednesday, January 26th, 2011. Steve is home from Stanford (YEAH!) and still has some incisional pain across his abdomen, the new ‘Heartmate II’ pump is doing its big job just fine. Steve goes back to Kaiser hospital in Santa Clara tomorrow, then Stanford on Friday for his one-week checkups. He is listed (YAY!) as a 1B on the transplant list until it is determined he is strong enough and ready for his status to be upgraded to 1A which will make him the highest status on the list, among any others at Stanford. Consideration is given to his blood type and weight also, among other criteria. Right now he is ‘the big O’. Big O’s tend to wait longer, but when it’s the right time, he will be ready.
Update: Thursday, January 13th, 2011, Happy New Year! The Stanford team suspects a clot has obstructed the heart pump that provides blood circulation to the body and Steve’s kidney function is being stressed. The concern is that the pump will stop. Steve was taken into surgery on Sunday the 10th to replace the pump with a new one. It is a 3+ hour surgery and entails access through the abdomen so it is a relief Steve does not have to go through a full sternal cut. He is recovering in ICU and still awaits a new heart! Please send love and good wishes to help Steve maintain a good spirit through this very challenging time in his life. Donations to the fund are reported to him also and it helps him, knowing that you support him financially also.
Update: Thursday, December 23, 2010. Steve and his wife Nancy are living in Mountain View in a studio hotel room so that Steve can be near Stanford until he is called by the heart transplant team. The doctors are not letting Steve return home to Pope Valley (no visit to Napa on Christmas either) with the LVAD (mechanical heart pump) in place, since home is so far from the hospital. The holidays have been brightened by calls from friends and visits from relatives, Steve’s mom, brother and daughter, and her friend John, and of course, the brightest star that keeps Steve happy; his McNab Kopper. Happy Holidays!
Update: Wednesday, December 8th, 2010. Steve was admitted to Stanford for testing because there were indications he may have developed a blood clot within his mechanical heart pump. So far the tests are inconclusive and he hopes to be released in the next few days. For safety, he must find lodging and remain near the hospital until he is called for his transplant. Steve has been receiving contributions from friends to help him stay near Stanford and he still has an ongoing need for funds for room and board, and to offset his expenses so please help if you can.
Update: November 12th, 2010. Steve returned home to Pope Valley! He is weak, but thrilled to be home. While he was away at Stanford, he forgot what his dog ‘Kopper’ looked like. Kopper, his 1 and a half year old red & white McNab was super-excited to see his master return!
Update: Friday, October 29th, 2010. Steve was discharged on the 27th from Stanford Hospital! He is staying within blocks from the hospital while he begins his rehab and continues to learn how to live with and care for his implanted heart pump (LVAD), while he waits to be transplanted. He says it is scary, but he’s happy to be out of the hospital.
Update: Friday, October 15th, 2010. Today Steve celebrates two weeks of life with a mechanical heart pump! He has been walking for one week. The surgery was successful (October 1st) and he continues to be followed by the skilled teams at Stanford Hospital.
Update: Tuesday, September 28, 2010. Steve is scheduled for open heart surgery on this Thursday, September 30th. The doctors plan to implant a LVAD (left ventricular assist device) to help him regain his strength over the next 30-120 days so he can have a better outcome of heart transplant. He has to get stronger in order to be transplanted and this is his best option. He is walking around the nurse’s station 3-4 times a day!
Update: Tuesday, September 21 ,2010. Steve is wide awake and starting to get up and sit in a chair once or twice a day with help. He is very weak but determined to get stronger so he can walk soon. He talks about going to the NHRA drag races…he is asking to get backing from the NHRA family. He missed the races altogether (no traveling, no season passes) and today it’s been 7 weeks he’s been at Stanford and he’s now awake and oriented so he watched Sunday’s races on TV. It is amazing he is alive and he is so excited about getting strong enough to be transplanted, to enjoy his hobbies and to go home again. He is so thankful for all the good spirits and prayers sent his way.
Update: Sunday, September 12th, 2010. Steve has had many setbacks and hurdles to overcome but now is awake, starting physical therapy so he can lift his arms and legs, and to sit up; speech therapy so he can swallow and be done with the feeding tube! He has a speaking valve and can talk for short periods. His lungs are clearing and he is regaining his memory and staying oriented, one day at a time. His dedication to progress is amazing! All the prayers and good wishes are so helpful to him, knowing people all over the U.S. are thinking of him, friends, old and new. Thank you for contributing to his good spirits and to his fund.
Update: Sunday August 29th, 2010. Steve has taken a step toward becoming oriented, he woke up twice today and opened his eyes and looked around. His team of Stanford doctors, fellows, interns and attentive nurses are continuing to confer regarding his recovery and agree it will be a long road, and there is hope for him to make a bee-line to the 1A-list. Many thanks to each of you for the prayers, spiritual wishes and great energy toward Steve’s improved health. Please continue to keep him in your thoughts.
Steve will surprise the doctors with his dedication and strong will to be well and re-conditioned!
Update: Sunday August 22, Steve is in critical condition at Stanford where he had a (temporary) tracheostomy today, so his upper breathing tube could be removed. He is not awake. He is healing and will begin a steady and dedicated recovery and reconditioning so he will be ready for his new heart. Many prayers and high spirited good-wishes are coming his way from all over the United States.
Update: Sunday August 15, Steve is still a patient at Stanford Medical Center. He is in critical condition and is improving slightly each day. All your prayers and best wishes are welcomed and appreciated. Light a candle and think of him. Send your good energy to Steve. Every single thought that comes his way will elevate his spirit and help him heal.
Update: Monday, August 2, Steve was flown by Reach helicopter to St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park and subsequently flown to Stanford University Medical Center. While at home, Steve had cardiac arrest and his heart did not respond to his defibrillator. He had an hour of CPR and is not awake. Please keep positive thoughts for Steve.
Update: Steve’s sister Cheryl and mom Irene had a yard sale fundraiser on July 23, 24, 25, 2010 which was attended by many and there were plentiful donations of time, energy, home furnishings and misc. Sales were great and Steve sends his love and thanks to everyone who participated.
June 19th 2010 ~ Pope Valley dinner/dance/auction Fundraiser was a great success and many thanks to everyone who donated, volunteered and Steve is so thankful to everyone who participated. He loves his Pope Valley community!
Steve visited the heart failure clinic for a regular check-up in early July and a minor adjustment to one of his medications was made, to improve his energy level.
~Steve was admitted on the 11th of May to Kaiser Hospital in Santa Clara, California and his doctors ran tests on his heart. They added two new medications and sent him home to get more mileage out of his ticker, after 11 days in the hospital ~
Steve lives with his wife in rural Pope Valley, California, and he has four grown children and eight grandkids whom he loves very much. Steve is fortunate to be part of a close family. His mom Irene, and brother Gil live in Napa and his sister Cheryl and her husband Roscoe live in Burney, Ca. Steve was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart) in 1993 and he had an aortic heart valve replacement in 1998.
The medicine he was taking worked wonders for a long time but his body has changed as the heart failure advanced. Steve went to Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Heart Failure Clinic in September and October, 2009 and in early November after full evaluation he was presented to Stanford University Medical Center for consideration to be placed on the transplant list. Steve made the list as of November 13th, 2009. As Steve’s heart failure advances, the doctors are gradually taking him off of certain heart medications because they no longer prove effective. When the oral heart medicine gives no further benefit and the doctors determine Steve’s heart is too tired to provide blood to other organs, he will go into the hospital and be placed on IV drug therapy to help the heart muscle continue its job. At that point his status on the list will go to 1b or 1a, and his placement is higher on the list due to more urgent need, and because the IV drugs help the heart work better. Steve would like to be at home and get the IV treatment but the medicine costs about $1800 daily so it is just not a practical option. The inotropic IV drug treatment is really the last option one wants to pursue. There can be damage to other organs and side effects, but these wonder drugs keep the heart squeezing, so given the alternative… The last time Steve was billed an inpatient copayment it was $225 a day so the cost to be ‘in’ the hospital is a tremendous financial expense.
Steve goes for a walk with his dog, ‘Kopper’ on days he feels strong. Kopper keeps him busy, he’s a McNab pup brought home from Susanville in May of ’09 and he is full of energy! (As of May 2010 the walking has decreased because Steve can’t catch his breath so easily) but Kopper doesn’t seem to mind!
Steve has Medicare and Kaiser. He has always paid not only for his own medical coverage, but for his family of 6 to have Kaiser when the kids were growing up. Now the cost of traveling back and forth to the heart failure clinic in Santa Clara (and to the ER), outpatient and inpatient procedures at the hospitals, cost of lodging for Nancy to stay close by (when she’s not asleep on the pullout chair), co-pays, deductibles, medicines, EKG’s and lab tests.. it all adds up. Steve is grateful for the care of Kaiser Permanente doctors and the amazing Stanford Medical Center.
Nancy works in real estate and has been making good use of her portable office, although her workload has decreased over the last few years due to the economy and more recently, the additional time spent with Steve.
He is in need of fundraising events. Steve needs all the financial help he can get right now to build a fund to offset the medical costs of transplant related expenses. It is important to build a medical fund so when the need arises, Steve can pay for the costs of the medical care then apply for re-imbursement through the fund managed by Help Hope Live, which is built up by donors like you. There is one drug he will take for about a month after transplant, that alone costs $1,000. The post-transplant medications will be monitored and adjusted, with new medicines being prescribed over time. Steve and Nancy will probably spend the first 30 days after transplant surgery within 5 miles of the transplant clinic at Kaiser in Santa Clara so he can participate in required monitoring and testing. He cannot be left alone during this time and he must be within 30 minutes of Santa Clara Kaiser.
ALL DONATIONS, will add to the fund and relieve the extraordinary expenses that are being incurred by the Meachams. Steve and Nancy have profound appreciation for all who donate and for all the good wishes being sent their way.
Steve has chosen to fundraise with Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live provides both tax-deductibility to the full extent allowed by law and fiscal accountability to contributors. Contributors can be sure that funds contributed will be used only to pay or reimburse Steve’s medically-related expenses. To make a contribution to this fundraising campaign:
Please click the “DONATE NOW” button and use your credit/debit card, or
Make checks payable to:
Help Hope Live
PLEASE, YOU MAKE NOTE IN THE MEMO SECTION:
STEVE MEACHAM ~ or it does not go to Steve! Thank you, thank you!
Help Hope Live
Two Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
For more information, please contact Help Hope Live at 800-642-8399.
THANK YOU very much for your support of Steve!
September 30, 2021
Hi! Boy, time flies when you're busy. Steve is alive & kickin', he has taken on a new project and is leaving an old one. He is restoring an old 1954 Studebaker truck! His friends at a local Auto Repair Shop are helping him fix the brakes and make the window go up & down, and make the truck safe for him to drive. He loves this old truck and it gives him a great project to think about and work on. Steve is giving his Harley Davidson to his sons. He can no longer safely ride it. Although this was a very difficult decision for him, it made him feel good to know they will take care of it and can afford to maintain it. Steve has his semi-annual checkup in Santa Clara at Kaiser next week. He is doing well with regard to his transplant, and is actively managing his diabetes with new medications, at least one of which is advertised on TV. This med is injectable once a week. The cost is over $400 each time he gets it from the pharmacy. That's in addition to the insulin and all the other medications he takes for his immunosuppression and medical conditions. The cost of the meds reduces Steve's income by about 20% each month. That's why he still needs financial support through helphopelive. Your donations absolutely make a difference to Steve and his family. He is thankful and appreciative of every person and each donation. Time passes and very few community members think about donating, especially with the pandemic and personal concerns. Steve definitely has gratitude for anyone who takes the time to contribute to his fund.
November 25, 2017
We wish to thank the anonymous donor who steadfastly helps Steve so tremendously, each and every year! You are amazing. And we thank all of the donors who make the support and maintenance of transplantation easier, which continues to fill Steve's life with hope and gratitude! Thank you.
November 25, 2017
Steve is hopeful there will be donations to his fund to help pay for transplant related prescription costs. He has a list with 17 medicines and supplements related to his heart health and immune-suppressants that he urgently needs within 3 weeks.
November 19, 2014
Steve is hopeful the local businesses in his community will contribute to his fund.
October 12, 2014
October 12, 2014 - Steve completed his neurological exam and there were deficits, as expected. He will do the best with what he has! His knees are affected by arthritis and one needs replacement but he got special new braces to separate the joints and relieve the pain. He goes to Santa Rosa Kaiser on the 23rd for hernia repair. Never a dull moment! Steve is very excited and happy about his granddaughter applying at Sonoma State and is hopeful she continues with higher level education.
October 12, 2014
Steve is planning one trip to Santa Clara before the end of the year for a check-up. His medications are expensive, every month. He is feeling good, although he notes he doesn't have the energy he would like to have so he can be more active.
December 8, 2013
December 8, 2013 - Steve has a right & left heart catheterization and heart biopsy due in February, for his 3rd annual check-up which also includes an echocardiogram. This will be a two day visit to Santa Clara Kaiser Hospital and he will need lodging nearby. He will need pre-testing lab work and an EKG. He has been managing his lab test levels well, but his blood pressure has been running high lately and changes have been made to increase some of his medications. This has been a topic of conversations between him and the clinic nurses. His heart rate stays between 90-108 which is fast; this would make most of us feel uncomfortable. His heart rate is somewhat managed with medications as the nerves that give his body information are not attached. His heart is happy though, it just chugs along, beating strong & steady as it naturally wants to do! He is so thankful he has a strong, new heart!
November 7, 2013
Update: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 - Steve had a checkup at Santa Clara Kaiser and he is doing well. They adjusted his anti-rejection medication because the level was creeping lower so they increased his dosage. He has a slight tremor in his hands now due to the higher dosage but it's not as bad as when he was in the hospital and couldn't feed himself with a spoon! It all ended up in his lap. He goes in for minor knee surgery tomorrow and will be recovering for 4-6 weeks and the hope is he will be more active with less pain!
June 22, 2010
Fundraiser tonight to aid Steve Meacham
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September 19, 2010
steve are prayers & thoughts go out to you & your family get well dude
rick&debbie ledesma cobb mt.
August 23, 2010
Hi...Nancy here. I want to thank all of you for your kind words and prayers for Steve. I have been reading them to him at his bedside at Stanford. Thank you.
June 14, 2010
you are courageous and strong, we send our positive energy your way for this stange adventure you are embarking.
a stranger in Santa Rosa
May 13, 2010
I'm praying hard and sending loving energy up for you.
Friend of Ric's
May 10, 2010
Ric sent me. Hang in there, bubba.
May 10, 2010
hello dear. My prayers are with you.
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Help Hope Live
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In honor of Steve Meacham
Help Hope Live
2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087