More for Les' family
Team Member: Paul Goodwin
Allison Schumacher wrote -
On Tuesday, February 24th, 2015, Paul Leslie Goodwin Jr. (Les) was admitted to the ER at Atlanta Medical Center with debilitating chest and abdominal pains and was scheduled for an appendectomy the following day. After a successful surgery the doctors thought he would be released shortly. However, when his ventilation tube was removed, it was discovered that his lungs were filling with fluid and his heart was only functioning at 20%. His kidneys began to shut down, and it quickly became apparent that Les had been suffering from nearly fatal complications from Marfan syndrome; a rare connective tissue disorder that affects dilation of the aorta and other blood vessels in addition to skeletal development, eye sight, and height.
The expanded aorta and faulty valve in his heart caused it to swell to three times the normal size. Pathology reports revealed that his appendix had previously died and become dead tissue, which spread a super-bug variation of the E. Coli infection to the pericardial sac around the heart. Emergency open-heart surgery was immediately required. Surgeons speculated that he had a 50/50 chance at best to survive the surgery.
After surviving 10 hours on an operating table, Les has managed to heal with a speed beyond the expectations of countless nurses, surgeons, med students, doctors, and worried family and friends. He has since fought through the infection, gained back full use of his lungs, and is battling with the frustrations of rebuilding his body and mind. All the while, he has maintained admirable tenacity and optimism.
Leslie has always been an incredibly hard worker, well-versed in woodworking, finishing, painting, automobile maintenance, construction, and countless other types of hands on, physical work. Unfortunately, he will no longer be able to pursue these skill sets to make a living, and is facing a lifetime of blood managing medications, blood pressure medications, anti-arrhythmic medications and continued therapy, as well as regular visits to the cardiologist. There is also the continued risk of other blood vessels requiring stinting or replacement, as there is no cure for Marfan Syndrome. It can only be managed.
Les is still in the hospital and is facing a long road to recovery. Although he is eager to get out of bed and back to living his life, he won’t physically be able to work for many more months. When recovered, he will need to return to school to pursue a new vocation that is less physically demanding. Until then, his mother, Amy, father, Paul Sr. and his girlfriend, Kat, will continue to dedicate their time to his care. Kat is diligently working to keep things afloat, but the savings are wearing thin and worries about the future are growing difficult to escape. They need our help to rebuild a new life.
With that life, comes the drive to actively support the Marfan community and Marfan Syndrome research. Leslie’s has a history of putting others ahead of himself and his compassion is difficult to match. He hopes to find a manageable occupation directly helping others, but no matter his path, he plans to invest his extra time raising awareness and research funds to prevent emergencies like his. He wants you to know that any funds raised here that exceed his necessities, will be donated directly to The Marfan Foundation.
Thank you for taking the time to reading his story, and thank you for your support.
This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.