By: David Shepherd, News Director / Anchor Photo: gofundme.com/Debcarie
HAYSVILLE -- A local man is fighting for his life and his family is hosting a benefit this weekend to help cover his mounting medical expenses.
Eleven years ago, Tom Carie of Haysville suffered a heart attack. His sister, Jana Gunselman tells WITZ he healed well, but his heart didn't.
"It was a pretty massive heart attack. It progressively deteriorated over the last eleven years to the point where he needed a LVAD, a Left Ventricular Assist Device to help pump his heart," explains Gunselman. "He's recovered very well from that. He [has] a few more steps and then, our next thing, is [getting him] onto a heart transplant list."
But there is a problem. Funding the transplant is expensive and there are no other options for Tom if his family hopes to save his life.
"There are really no options," Gunselman told our David Shepherd, her voice quivering as she held back her tears. "This [is] Tom's only option. Everybody knows insurance doesn't pay everything so the family is just trying to help them as much as we can."
She added, her brother is "our gentle giant, he's a big guy, he's quiet, he's a good guy, so we are here to help him."
A benefit will be held this Saturday at Jasper Outdoor Recreation.
The money raised will go to help Tom and his family with the "astronomical" medical expenses.
Doors open at 4 p.m. Two bands will perform, there will be a cash bar, silent auction, half-pot raffle and food.
The family is asking for a $5 at the door.
The family hopes Tom can be put on a donor list in the coming weeks.
They also encourage everyone to become an organ donor. It’s easy to do through the DMV.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Tom and his family. Click HERE https://www.gofundme.com/Debcarie