Wolf Heart Fund

My best friend from middle school has a very sick husband.  They are struggling to make ends meet by selling off their possessions, including her wedding rings.

Dawn has been an awesome friend since we were about 13 years old.  Some friends come and go, others remain in your life forever.  Dawn is the forever type of friend.

Here is Dawn’s story about her husband Scott.  If you are touched by her story, please consider helping them by using this link I created.  Wouldn’t you want your friends to help you, if you were down and out?  http://wolfheartfund.chipin.com/scott-and-dawn-wolf

It began in June of 2005…

He was having very bad abdominal pains, so I rushed him to the Hanover
Hospital ER thinking it was his appendix.  A CAT scan did not show a problem with his appendix, but the doctor said that Scott’s blood work was not right.  The nurse drew more blood and we waited.

The doctor came back and by this time Scott had enough waiting.  He
was begging to smoke a cigarette.   This made the doctor mad and he told Scott to go home.   If he still had pain in the morning I was to take him to our family doctor.

The next day he was still in pain, so we made an appointment with his family doctor and he saw him the same day.  After looking at Scott’s blood results, Dr. Ton asked why he was not admitted into the hospital.  I told what happened the previous day and Dr. Ton was amazed.   He was referring Scott to an oncologist and Scott never should have left the hospital the day before.  It would take the oncologist about 2 weeks to
get Scott in for an appointment which was fine with us, but we were worried.

Our concerns were realized as we were leaving Dr Ton’s office.  A nurse from the oncologist’s office called and told us to get to Hanover Hospital as soon as possible.   Scott needed a phlebotomy.   I was like…okay.  I had no clue what that was at the time, but boy do I know now!

Dr. Mohan had him scheduled for phlebotomies for 5 days straight.  If you don’t know what a phlebotomy is, let me enlighten you.  A doctor drains a pint of blood out of you.
Normally a person can only give a pint of blood every 6-8 weeks but Scott needed to have a pint a day for at least 5 days straight.

Within a week the oncologist, Dr. Mohan, was able to get Scott an appointment.  She was baffled and had no clue to what was wrong.  All she knew was Scott had way
too many red blood cells and she needed to get them out. A bone marrow biopsy
was performed and another test where they drew a test tube of blood, mixed it with
radioactive dye then injected it back into his veins. I cried while they did
this because I could see on Scott’s face how much it hurt.

The next 3 months were terrible.  Scott had just started a job, but was unable
to work until the doctor cleared him.  We had no income except my babysitting pay and that was not much.  The company he worked for was awesome and held his job for him.  They also did a fundraiser for us and the company owner wrote us a check for $2500.   The office staff raised about $100 and donated lots of food.

Scott was finally diagnosed with Polycythemia Vera.  This is a rare blood condition affecting bone marrow and over-producing red blood cells.  It is also pre-stage leukemia.

In 2006, Scott had a Deep Venous Thrombosis (blood clot) in his left calf.
Next, a mini-stoke in 2009 followed by him passing out at work.  Our family doctor sent him to a neurologist for tests but those came back normal. The doctors were stumped  and started more tests to figure out the problem.

In September of 2010 our family doctor sent him to Gettysburg
Hospital for an echocardiograph.  She figured we would start working our way down his body until she could figure the problem out.   We arrived at the hospital
on Oct 1st at 9 am.  We were told the echo would only take about 20 minutes and we would get the results from his family doctor in 2 days.  I sat in the waiting room with 3 toddlers under the age of 3 for over an hour.

The waiting room door opened and a doctor asked me to come with him.  I told him I
couldn’t because I had 3 toddlers and no stroller.  We went into the hall and he proceeded to tell me that Scott has a large mass growing inside his heart and he needed to
go to York Hospital NOW!!!!!

It took me two hours to get from Gettysburg Hospital to York Hospital that day.
Imagine a frazzled woman with a sick husband and three toddlers trekking
across the county.  Not a pretty sight.

Sometime after 7 pm Dr. Taylor came and explained that Scott had a golf ball size mass growing on his mitral valve. The doctor had no clue if it was a blood clot, a tumor, or just deposits of an infection. So again we waited, this time all weekend.

On Monday, Scott had a heart catheter done to make sure there were no surprises when the doctor went into his heart.  Scott’s open-heart surgery was scheduled for Tuesday
early in am.  That time frame came and went.   Then it was scheduled for Tuesday
afternoon….that came and went also.  Next, it was scheduled for Wednesday early in the morning, but again was rescheduled for Wednesday mid-morning.  Finally they came to prep him for pre-op and then they wheeled him away.  Again, I waited and waited.

He was placed in open-heart intensive care unit and Dr. Taylor came to tell me how it went.  He said it was a blood clot and he also discovered a hole in Scott’s heart, so he fixed that too.  All along, I had thought Scott only had a hole in his head.

Scott’s nurse told me to go home and get much needed sleep.  I had slept on a
chair beside Scott’s bed from Friday until Wednesday.  I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am Thursday and walked into 3 doctors, multiple  nurses and all kinds of machines.  A nurse took me from the room and told me to sit, “A doctor will be over to talk to you shortly.”

Never believe that line from a nurse.  A doctor never came and when
everyone left his room I ran in to see what was going on.  Scott’s ICU nurse said that he had trouble breathing in the middle of the night and they had to put him on a bypass
machine.  Eventually I learned his right lung had collapsed.

Scott was sent home on October 12th with 13 medications and on oxygen.  A
visiting nurse came to our home every day for 4 weeks.  On November 9th we went for his 4 week follow-up appointment with the surgeon.  This appointment did not go well.         Dr. Sheers listened to Scott’s heart and immediately sent him for an echocardiograph at
Gettysburg Hospital.  After the echo, a “white coat” (as Scott calls them) came into the room (this is never a good sign) and told us to go back to Dr. Sheers for an explanation.

We went back to Dr. Sheers office and he met us at the door.  We were told to
go to York Hospital NOW!!!!  Boy, that was way too familiar.  Now what?????

We’re at York Hospital now and a nursing assistant told us that his heart rate was 204.  He needed to relax and get into bed. (Relax? Oh sure, no problem) A doctor came in later and
explained that Scott had fluid building up around his heart and the fluid was
crushing it.

The next day we went for another heart surgery, his third within 5 weeks.  After his surgery I went in to see him and was surprised he was awake, and very mad. He told me that he was conscious for the surgery.  I nodded and thought he was on some good drugs and was talking crazy. What surgeon would do heart surgery when the patient is awake?!

Later that day Scott’s heart surgeon, Dr. Taylor, came in the room and sat down with us. I immediately began to worry because Dr. Taylor never sits. He proceeded to tell us that he was sorry he had to do most of the surgery while Scott was awake.  I almost fell out of my chair. WHAT?????? He explained when they tried to intubate him, he flat-lined.   Thinking fast, Dr. Taylor pulled the tube out of Scott’s mouth did CPR.  Once Scott was conscious and breathing he cut him open and put the tubes in to drain the fluid around his heart. Afterwards, they intubated him so they could shock his heart back into rhythm.

The next day, his chest started to fill with fluid and his right lung collapsed again.
He was at York Hospital from November 9th to the 18th was sent home on oxygen again.  He was taken off of oxygen in January of 2011.  On March 25th we were out with some friends for dinner and a little dancing (for me not Scott.)  Suddenly our friend came to me and said something was wrong with Scott.  I ran to him and he was visibly in pain, holding his chest and gasping for breath.  I called 911 and friends got him out to our truck.  One of our friends, an EMT, did what he could until the ambulance arrived.

At the ER they did test after test. Thankfully, it was NOT a heart attack, but he had an episode of AFib.  He was admitted and cardiologist, Dr. Schuler, came to see him the next day and telling him he needed to wear an event monitor for 21 days.  When we went for his appointment with Dr. Schuler he told us Scott had a Supravascular Tachycardia SVT and
needed another heart surgery.  This would make his 4th surgery in less than a year, on a 39 year old man!

Scott was on short-term disability from September 10th until May off 2011.  He still
had 4 weeks left but he wanted to go back to work.  Dr. Schuler said it was ok for now and that he would schedule the surgery when Scott was ready.  On June 30 2011, Scott’s boss came to him and said the township was out of money and making cut backs in all the departments.  We have found out since that NO other departments had cut backs and no one else lost their job.  Things that make you go hmmmmmm!

On Sept 19 2011, Scott had his 4th heart surgery in 11 months and he is doing ok. We were told that because of all of his ER visits the past 2 weeks and his surgeries; Unemployment Compensation feels he is unemployable.  Scott has been the moneymaker in our
family for as long as we have been together (17 years) and now I am trying to
figure out what to do.  I still do child care in our home, but I only make $60 per week.  I cannot get a “real” job because then Scott will lose his medical assistance and we cannot have that.  He needs medical insurance and I have to take him to his appointments, which are quite often.  We applied for SSI back in August and as we all know, that takes forever.

For now, we just sit here worrying and waiting, trying to sell pretty much everything we
own to pay our bills.  We have some great friends and family that have helped us with what they can.  I cannot thank them enough!

Dawn Wolf

Thank you Dawn, for sharing your story.  A big thank you to those who have already made a donation to the Wolf family through this link. http://wolfheartfund.chipin.com/scott-and-dawn-wolf  Scott is one tough bird and he is greatly loved.  Please keep the Wolf family in your prayers.

Showing heart,

~P.

Comments

  1. May God bless you, your husband and family! I read that you filed for SSI and wondered if you knew that you can also file for your 3 children because their father can’t work, plus you can also file because you have become his primary care taker. If you are denied, appeal immediately. Your husband can still qualify for Medicaid if you work…you have to put P95 on the application. Then the approval is based on need not income. I wish you tons of luck and blessings!

  2. Thanks Pattie for sharing this. I could’ve written so much more I can not even begin to tell how many tests, xrays,ct scans,blood tests, needle pricks, etc…. He has been through! It has been a very long and stressful road for him, me, devin, and kayla. She worries so much about her daddy she wants to be a heart doc because of this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Also Dawn, if you go to New Hope Ministries in Dover on Butter Rd they can help your family with groceries and bills and can push to get you approved for Liheap. If you contact the phone company they can work with getting your phone bill reduced to a very low monthly cost. A note signed by your husbands doctor stating that he needs a phone/electric on and available submitted to both companies will ensure that both utilities stay on regardless of payment. The Salvation Army in York helps with food also. If you go into York ‘s SSI office ask to have the appt. w/Tony, heard he’s a huge help. SSI also pays a lump sum amount back to the day you applied but medical assistance will take some of it as repayment. Pattie as her friend you could make some calls,write some persuasive letters to Walmart, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, grocery stores, etc. to ask for help. Check w/local charities to see if they are wailing to help w/fundraising. Hope this helps…I can’t donate money but I can offer information.

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