My cousin Erin, and her husband Ricky, are two of the most loving people I know. They also have two beautiful children who are filled with so much life. In October of 2010, Ricky was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was born with a bi leaflet aortic valve when most people have a tri leaflet. His heart since birth has had to work harder than normal hearts and is now 3 times the size it should be. On January 27, 2011 Richard had open heart surgery to replace his aortic and mitral valve that had ruptured due to the extra stress. They also replaced the root of his aorta because it had become so dilated. His doctors were hopeful if they replaced the faulty valves, it could buy more time before needing a heart transplant. The operation seemed successful. Unfortunately, things drastically changed in June. Ricky began feeling weak and fatigued again and finally was admitted back into the hospital in July. His heart was just too big and tired and could not pump enough blood to meet the needs of his body.
On Saturday, August 6, 2011, Ricky had his second open heart surgery to have an LVAD (left ventricle assist device) put into his chest. This device is installed into the heart to take over the function of the left ventricle. This device is a bridge to transplant; it is not a permanent fix. Ricky still needs a new heart. Well, a new used heart. Unfortunately, Ricky's insurance thru the Texas Health Pool will only cover $200,000 towards his transplant surgery. Heart transplant costs are anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000 or more depending on recovery, complications, etc. Without adequate funds, he cannot be put on the transplant list. The only thing holding him back from being on that list is the additional coverage.
That is where you all come in. Think about what your heart means to you. At some point in our lives we will all rely on the love and kindness of others.
Every contribution is an enormous help. Please share with everyone you know. We love you Ricky!!