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Shall We Try Again? - May 2024

It was my hope and belief that May's blog would be back onto the topics of audio or video but, unfortunately, this is not the case.  Life can be like that.

After weeks of deteriorating medical numbers, Deb ended up the Emergency Room of Norfolk General Hospital operated by Sentara.  They are the backup to the Cleveland Clinic and made the call for her to come in and we are so very grateful that they did.  They immediately determined that Deb was in serious heart failure and that the best thing to do was to get her to Cleveland as they know her history the best.  They provided excellent care while we waited for a bed in Cleveland.  Ground transportation was out of the question.

This required Deb and I to guarantee the payment of the emergency flight to Cleveland and the associated ambulances in the event Medicare (as is required under Virginia Disability Program) does not pay.  It required pre-authorization which was not an option Friday night - Saturday morning.  We have taken the leap of faith that they will as the potential bill is $20,000.  Being given that choice on Saturday night at 10 PM when the flight was to be at 9 AM Sunday morning was torture.  There was a delay as we were stunned.

The Cleveland Clinic team has turned Debbie upside down and inside out with all the battery of tests they have to find a way to treat her condition.  While they have managed to control certain aspects of the failure (they alone could have resulted in death) they could not find them all.  They turned to Canada where a new experimental system is being used to assist in diagnostics.

Unfortunately, this Sunday morning the results came back, and like all the other tests, negative.  This means there are no further treatment options known to man at this time. 

Cleveland Clinic has proposed a second heart transplant and, with Deb's permission, they have begun that process.  A second transplant is rare and, in the scheme of things, not an absolute priorty when compared to those seeking a first.  There is no guarantee that it will happen at all.

I am writing about this today as her transplanted heart has already been a 3 year battle of ups and downs.  All the while, like so many others, the owner has been trying to operate their small business in an environment of mail order and other less favorable competitive factors.  My wife has been an incredible trooper through all of this and has been learning how to counsel families going through difficult and long-term illnesses. She wants to help others now that she can no longer work in the medical field.  (She was both an EMT and later a phlebotomist.)

We in small businesses are human and have our share of events like yourself.  Your patronage is exactly at the core of supporting small businesses as we try to care for you and our employees notwithstanding our personal struggles. It's not a click of a button, stuff put on a conveyor belt by robots (and that... is coming my friends) and dumped on your porch in whatever weather in the prying eyes of pirates.

So, as I wrote in December's blog, Living on the Edge of Science, the question now stands "Shall we Try Again?"  The ultimate decision to try, with no guarantees, now rests in the heart and hands of my wife, Debbie.  The costs will be substantial. 

I would certainly appreciate whatever support you can provide to us.  My staff would also as we are, once again, possibly in for a ride.  Make it possible.  Back onto the Edge of Science.


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