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    Transplant Financial Issues
    TaySummers posted:
    My brother is 26. He was diagnosed a week ago with end stage liver disease cirrhosis from heavy drinking. He is the youngest from such a cause that the doctors have personally seen there. His only option is to get a liver transplant, but they say he must remain sober for a few months to even be considered. I am stricken with worry and fear. He was brought down to ICU yesterday because his ammonia levels were so high and he wasn't responding, but when we visited him he was more alert...still couldn't talk really at all and was confused...but alert-ish nonetheless. Anyways, my first question is how long people usually wait for transplants. Second, and most important because I know time differs per person, for those of you who are facing a transplant, been through a transplant, or are a loved one of someone receiving a transplant, how can it be payed for? My brother has medicaid type insurance in Wisconsin called I-Care, but it does not cover liver transplants. What are the options that you were given. I want to start as soon as possible so that as soon as he can get one, we will be able to finance it.
    cookiedog responded:
    For my transplant center, he must have six months of documented sobriety be placed on the list. That means daily attendance at AA or whatever program the transplant center chooses. A form signed at every meeting to show attendance. Random blood testing for the presence of alcohol. Then when he achieves six months of sobriety,, he will be placed on the list with something called a MELD score. That score will determine his placement on the list. It varies from center to center how long it takes to get from placement on the list to actual transplant. He needs to concentrate on the six months requirement and nothing else. To be so young and so addicted in unusual. He may find it next to impossible to quit drinking. Many folks in my pre-post transplant support group stop drinking alcohol, start to feel better and promptly fall off the wagon. He needs to put every single ounce of his being into getting and staying sober. For many, that part is much harder than surviving the transplant. Funding is tricky. I have Medicare and private health insurance. I am having a living donor transplant and my financial counselor estimates my surgery will come close to $1 million since my DD will also have major surgery to donate. At my center you also have to prove financial means to pay the huge costs of the post-transplant medicine required to avoid rejection. But I wouldn't even worry about all that yet. I would get him stabilized and start working intensively to get him totally sober. That is your first hurdle. Take care, Skeen

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