Amarillo Globe News | Robert Stein
|Alfred Allison shows off the batteries and equipment connected to his left ventricular assist device, a machine that is keeping him alive while he raises money for a heart transplant.|
A small device implanted in Alfred Allison’s chest whirs at about 10,000 rpm and keeps him alive as he waits for a heart transplant.
The implant, a left ventricular assist device, helps Allison’s weakened heart circulate blood.
It was supposed to be a temporary solution after Allison was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, but financial barriers have kept Allison from getting on the organ transplant list.
Linda Madison, Allison’s sister-in-law, has made it her mission to make sure a lack of money doesn’t keep her brother waiting too long.
“Either we come up with $3,000 or he’s going to die,” Madison said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help him get the money he needs.”
Before Allison, a 61-year-old veteran, former construction worker and retired trucker can get a new heart, he must prove to a transplant center that he has the money to afford the necessary immunosuppressant medication.
“The ability to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting a transplanted organ is the foundation of transplant medicine, so those medications are absolutely essential to get the maximum duration and quality of life from that organ,” said Dr. Douglas Horstmanshof, co-director of Integris Advanced Cardiac Care. Continue reading