My sister's two-year-old son, our nephew, CK has a very rare heart condition called Shone's Complex, which is essentially a mess of congenital heart defects (mitral stenosis, coarctation of the aorta, bilateral superior vena cava, and bicuspid aortic valve). It was diagnosed when he was just 12 months old. It's a very serious condition.
Why am I telling you this?
His condition is worsening, so today at 11 a.m. EST CK is having heart surgery at Duke University. He will undergo an end to end aortic coarctation repair. But that's not the end of it for now. In four to six weeks he will receive a mitral valve catheter balloon valvuloplasty. Both surgical procedures are Greek to me, and probably to you, but we all will agree that anytime you subject a child (or anyone) to heart surgery, it's scary. Unfortunately, these two procedures won't be the end of his surgeries. There may be many more to come in the near and distant future.
I know most of you don't know him, but if you can please send us your prayers, thoughts, good vibes, etc.
Now, switching gears a bit.
The financial burden of CK's condition for my sister and her husband is enormous. The cost of the surgeries is absolutely astonishing, but also add in the lost wages from missing work and travel cost to and from Duke University. The hospital is a three hour drive each way from their home. Both my sister and her husband lack the benefits at their employers to get paid time off.
So to offset some of these costs, my twin brother is offering his tech expertise for free, but asking for a donation in exchange. It can be as low as $1 or as high as you can afford. He's got 15 years of IT experience and is a wealth of knowledge. Some examples of what he can help you with include:
- Solutions for various Virus/Malware related problems
- Various PC software recommendations
- Application help
- Mac OS X
- General computer questions
- Home/business networking (wireless)
- PC or Network security tips or tricks
Update at 10:19 a.m. - I just got word from my sister that CK's surgery has been postponed until next week. This was the result of both a newborn and a child brought in by life flight admitted into the Cardiac ICU at Duke this morning. There was no longer a pediatric ICU bed to accommodate CK after surgery. The hospital had no choice but the postpone.
This is actually a great example of the financial stress my sister and her family are experiencing. After traveling three hours to Duke a couple of days ago and spending money on gasoline and hotel as well as missing work, the surgery has been delayed. This will result in further expense next week when they have to repeat everything.
Thanks to all of you who have contributed already. Our family appreciates your generosity.
Read more updates on CK's condition HERE.