Michael Austin Butler is only 22 years old and in need of a new heart.
He doesn’t have any medical insurance.
He was a healthy young man until April 2019 when his whole life changed.
In April, he went to the hospital experiencing chest pains and was having trouble breathing. Turned out that he had a silent heart attack. They ran tests but couldn’t find a cause. After a couple of days, he was sent home with some heart meds to strengthen his heart and a life vest. He was supposed to take these meds for 6 and then go back to the doctor.
On June 4, 2019, Austin started coughing up blood. He went to the ER and they sent him home saying it was a Sinus Infection. He went home slept all night and pretty much the whole next day. When he woke up, he started coughing up even more blood so back to the ER he went. They ran tests and said that his heartbeat irregular causing blood to backflow. They also realized that only 7% of his heart was working. They then transferred him to UAB.
UAB has been doing numerous tests and blood work to try and find the cause of his congestive heart failure. They have come to terms that it was caused by a Viral Infection. Back in March 2019, he was sick. They treated him for Upper Respiratory Infection when actually he had Strep. He was given the wrong antibiotics.
His heart is enlarged (his heart fills his whole chest) so the blood can’t flow normally. They put him on the highest heart medicine there is which is given through an IV to make the blood flow. His heart is 60 damaged and the medicine is causing VTACHS. They recently tried weaning him off of the IV Heart Meds to change to some different heart meds that maybe would keep his heart going to buy some time and send him home until he could receive a new heart. His SVO2’s kept dropping though.
They are now setting things up to do an LVAD (mechanical heart) until he can receive a heart transplant. This is a very risky procedure but there’s not anything left to do. He will have a very long road to recovery once he receives a heart. There will be a ton of medicines to take and he will have to live close to the hospital for a while. He currently lives 100 miles from the hospital.
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