If you live in the United States, need an organ transplant and don't have health insurance coverage, you can expect to be faced with huge medical costs such as Ricky's half-million dollars for a lung transplant. I had my lung transplant in Canada at Toronto General Hospital, and other than incidental expenses for travel, hotels and meals, etc. my entire medical bill for doctors, hospitals and drugs was covered by the government health care plan.
From OnMilwaukee.com in Wisconsin:
Breathing Comes at a High Price for Young Survivor;
Double Lung Transplant to Cost 29 year old $543,900
WIND LAKE, WI. – Ricky Byington will not be doing the usual celebrating on his 30th birthday. His 30th birthday will be more of a real celebration – truly a birthday of a lifetime.
Ricky Byington has suffered from the terminal disease, Cystic Fibrosis (CF), since birth with limited chance of survival. People with CF have thick mucus which clogs their lungs causing their progressive destruction. At the young age of 12 years old, Ricky’s disease progressed rapidly. He developed what doctors would call a barrel chest due to constant heavy breathing and coughing, which lead to a barrage of jokes and laughs from schoolmates.
At this point Ricky contemplated committing suicide because he could not handle the extreme hardship of the disease and the bullying from other children. Throughout his short life, he has undergone several surgeries, spent months in the hospital, and has endured constant pain and shortness of breath.
Now 29 years-old, Ricky’s lung capacity is currently measuring only 27%. A double edged sword – a cystic fibrosis victim must deteriorate to 30% lung capacity or below to be eligible for a lung transplant.
In Ricky’s situation, he needs two lungs – a double lung transplant in order to survive at a price tag of an estimated $543,900. On May 18, Ricky’s 30th birthday, friends, family, caregivers and more, will be hosting a fundraiser to help raise the more than half-million dollars that he will need to have a double lung transplant.
Volleyball, silent auction, food, beverages and fun will round out the evening all in an effort to raise funds for Ricky. Live music to be performed by three-time WAMI winners, The Toys, Left on Sunset and DJ Speed of Sound. The fundraiser will kick-off at 2 p.m. at Kelly’s Bleacher’s II at 7805 S. Loomis Road in Wind Lake. The cost to enter is $5.00 with all of the proceeds going towards Ricky’s lifesaving surgery.
“He is such an inspiration to all of us. He has endured what most of us will never be able to fathom, never being able to catch his breath” said Fred Barry, his second dad.To donate items for the silent auction or to volunteer, please call Tanya Kreil (414) 243-3405. You can make a monetary donation to Ricky’s cause at any Tri-City National Bank. Please make checks payable to the ‘Ricky Byington Lung transplant fund'. By mail, send to:
TRI-CITY NATIONAL BANK
12745 West Capitol Drive
Brookfield, WI 53005
Phone: (262) 783-0044.
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