Transplant Type: Liver
What if you were living on borrowed time?
Les Wilmeth is fighting for his life. In January 2019, he was diagnosed with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver cirrhosis. His condition was complicated further by a diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma in October 2019, which is in most cases a devastating diagnosis. Thanks to his brilliant and caring team of physicians at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, the cancer was successfully treated. After 18 months of close follow-up, they have now approved him for a liver transplant, which remains critical to his continued survival.
During such a challenging time, Les is thankful for his wife of twenty-eight years, Robin, their two daughters, and two grandchildren. He wishes they didn’t have to be so concerned about his health, but he is grateful for their love and support. Before his health began to decline, he enjoyed his favorite activities which include onshore and offshore fishing, boating, golf, and volunteering with various charitable organizations; but these days, his activities are quite limited. Due to fatigue, muscle atrophy and weakness, he no longer has the stamina for any activities over and above his employment. Les looks forward to the transplant that will allow him to live his life with as few limitations as possible, and to spend many more years making memories with his family, but right now, he needs your help.
Unfortunately, Les’ hope for a new life comes at a very high price. The average liver transplant costs approximately $878,000. And that’s only the beginning. Even with health insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant, he faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, he will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.
Les lives more than 250 miles from the transplant center. Over the past two years, he and Robin have incurred substantial expenses each time they have visited various transplant centers for evaluations, procedures, and follow-up appointments. Now they must relocate to Jacksonville, Florida to be closer to the Mayo Clinic, where the transplant will take place. This relocation also helps increase his chances of finding a suitable donor as soon as possible. When he receives his transplant, Les and his caregiver, Robin, will need to stay near the hospital during recovery and for at least 3 months thereafter, possibly 1 year, all the while maintaining their residence in Charleston. With the anticipated, at least temporary loss of income after the transplant, this adds a substantial financial and emotional burden.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Les. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT South Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 850, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Les Wilmeth” in the memo line.
Thank you for your generosity!
Transplant Center: Mayo Clinic Hospital