After a mandatory six weeks of on-site post-operative surveillance which required residency in downtown San Francisco, Doug was allowed to return to the Chico cottage in late January. Besides rigorous testing of vital signs and aggressive monitoring of his “new” lungs, the central theme of recovery was walking, no small challenge in hilly San Francisco. Doug was able to walk for 30 minutes just weeks after his 12-hour surgical marathon, and to date there have been no indicators of potential organ rejection.
Central to the prevention of infection and transplant organ rejection is a vast array of medications: immunosuppressants and steroids, some of which he will take for the remainder of his life. The effect of these drugs is not often pleasant: but as the old saying goes, it beats the alternative… Several of the prescriptions involve specialty drugs which are very expensive, over $4,000 a month, with a $900 co-pay.
The recent two-day February testing and examination appointment with the UCSF transplant team is now complete, and the results seem encouraging. Lung efficiency has improved, Doug has gained weight, and there do not appear to be fresh signs of transplant rejection. These monthly examinations will continue for a further ten months but are accompanied by travel and work restrictions which have deprived him of income.
Without assistance, Doug is facing enormous financial challenges. We are hopeful that a petition now in preparation at NCIS headquarters will ultimately provide redress and VA recognition and assistance. Now Doug has no government support; he cannot work nor travel to work.
Good-hearted donors are his lifeline. Please assist today with a donation to the medical fighting fund and remember him in the months ahead.
We ask that you share this site with friends and colleagues to let them know about Doug, and that he is worthy of their support.