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My Story

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Hello from San Francisco

Written Sep 6, 2012 6:02pm by Matt L'Herogan

I'm posting this from my room on the 10th floor of UCSF Medical Center.  I sure do feel a long way from home.  

When Sally and I came down to the city 2 weeks ago we thought it was for a scheduled appointment with my lung doctor specialist, Harold Collard, and a first appointment with Lung Transplant to begin the process of getting me tested and approved for a transplant down the road.  My condition is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and there is no known cure.  For reasons unknown (that's the idiopathic part) my body started fighting a threat and never turned off the defenses when the threat was gone.  The result is scarring in the bed lining of the lungs in the aveoli which are the little sacs where gas is exchanged between the lungs and the bloodstream.

So we met first with Dr. Jeff Golden of the transplant team on August 23rd and he was concerned enough about my condition to want me admitted to the hospital to immediately begin the transplant listing tests.  Many tests showed me to be a good candidate, but one was problematical.  A left heart catheterization uncovered heavy blockage (90%) in my main artery.  This is an artery coming directly from the aorta which splits in two to the front and back of the heart to supply the heart muscles.  My blockage is before the fork and is considered enough of a high risk that UCSF has never done a combined lung transplant and heart bypass with the blockage as severe as mine and in my location.  Lucky me.

So the last week or so has been spent trying to find a transplant center that could take me on.  We may have found one in UCLA.  They've done this combo before and are evaluating me for a thumbs up.

If you know anyone who has been transplanted, you know that centers are very picky about candidates.  As someone put it to me, if they choose wrong and a recipient dies, there are three people who lose: the recipient, the donor's family and the next person on the list waiting for lungs.  So they are looking at what they call the psyco/social aspect very carefully to make sure I will have the support to properly take care of this incredibly precious gift.  It is hard to wait.

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Matt L'Herogan posted a new journal entry.

Now that all this great publicity is out there about the funraiser that directs people to caringbridge (big thanks to Patty and Marianne and others for all the ... Read more

Richard Wolf signed Matt's Guestbook.

Hi Matt. Though you don't know me, I saw a write-up on your benefit at the Eureka Inn this weekend, then accessed CaringBridge. I'm a 69 year old retired local physician ... Read more

Marianne O'Sheeran signed Matt's Guestbook.

Hi Matt, Sending greetings and blessings from an old theatre aquaintance. Marianne O'Sheeran Read more

Vicki Mathers signed Matt's Guestbook.

Hey Matt,I finally got around to saying Hi! on this wonderful site! Good to read all your progress reports and just hoping you are doing okay. We miss your smiling face ... Read more

Marsha Kane signed Matt's Guestbook.

Got your poster up at work for the Fun-Raiser.  Hope you're all doing well.  Marsha Read more

Sara L'Herault signed Matt's Guestbook.

Matt, Great to talk to you today.  Made me miss you all the more.  I have a naturopathic doctor friend and I'll check with her about the Chinese medicines.  Nice ... Read more

Matt L'Herogan posted a new journal entry, "Wanna Raise Some Fun?".

Please check the Photos section of this website to see the poster for the funraiser that has been mentioned before.  Print and distribute as needed.Eureka Inn.  Many ... Read more

Matt L'Herogan posted a new journal entry, "Updates and Requests".

Stanford says no.  As my docs at UCSF suspected, my case was too complicated for the Stanford team.  I am now investigating the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ... Read more

Gayle Susan signed Matt's Guestbook.

Hi Matt, Found this clinical publication from a couple yrs ago. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19804683 Don't know if it's anything you don't already know, ... Read more

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