End Stage Emphysema / Bilateral Lung Transplant
Joey Spangler's Bio
Joey has Stage 4 (also known as End Stage) Emphysema. According to his most recent annual pulmonary function test, he has approximately 19% of normal lung capacity. This disease causes Joey to experience low oxygen levels, severe shortness of breath and chronic fatigue. It also places him at risk for complications such as pneumonia and heart failure. In addition to eating a healthy diet, Joey exercises regularly and avoids all high-risk activities. He currently takes five prescribed medications, including daily oxygen therapy, to help slow down the progression of the disease.
All indications are that Joey is a great candidate for a bilateral lung transplant, but numerous additional tests are required to determine transplant and organ viability, allocation scoring and rank on the waiting list. Preliminary test results indicate that Joey’s current condition is not as severe as others currently on the lung transplant list, which suggests he will be placed lower on the waiting list until his condition worsens.
Due to Joey’s end stage emphysema, he has been on a fixed income for years. Although disability has provided a minimum level of security, his income is only a small fraction of what his working income once was. Maintaining his household and everyday financial obligations, as the single head of household, has depleted Joey’s savings.
Additionally, according to the National Foundation for Transplants, the average cost for a bilateral lung transplant and first year expenses is $1 million. Actual costs vary for each patient, based on insurance coverage, the type of transplant and the location of the transplant center. Transplant patients also incur lifetime medical expenses for follow-up care and prescriptions. After consultation with two local transplant centers, Joey was informed that because he is “under insured”, he would need sufficient funds set aside that will ensure continuous, long-term care, prior to being placed on the transplant waiting list.
Joey has 5 children ranging in age from 14 to 45, all of whom live in Maryland. Joey is extremely proud of his children Tarl (and Tracy), Christopher (and Emily), Beth (and Jay), Jonathan and Nicholas, and the outstanding individuals they have become. Their accomplishments and contributions are too numerous to list but they have exceeded his expectations as individuals, partners, parents, community educators and contributors. If his life were to end today, Joey takes solace in knowing his children’s and their partners’ futures are bright and filled with promise and that his legacy is in good hands. He is also the proud grandfather of 11.
Joey has made the decision to live beyond the limitations imposed by End Stage Emphysema. Joey tries to live each day to the fullest. He continues to enjoy quality time with his family and friends and gets out into the world every chance he gets. It may be a cliché, but Joey goes to bed each night knowing he has, as the Tim McGraw song goes, lived like he were dying.
Thank you ahead of time for your support and kindness.