The Thom Family

Grand Forks, ND
$600.00 raised of $3,340.50
Mortgage/Rent $3,340.50
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3 months
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    Name
    Rhett Thom
    Injury/Illness
    Cardiovascular Disease

    Hello, my name is Rhett and I was born on December 2, 2020 in Grand Forks, ND. Shorty after I was born, the nurses noticed that I was having difficulty breathing and decided to have a Neonatologist examine me. The doctor discovered that a congenital heart disease was the reason for my breathing difficulties. The disease is called Transposition of the Great Arteries and it basically means that my arteries in my heart are switched and my blood isn’t being pumped to my lungs to get saturated with oxygen like with a normal heart. Therefore, I had dangerously low oxygen saturation in my blood and  I would need a major heart surgery in the near future to correct the transposed arteries, as well as multiple other surgeries throughout my life to replace valves in my heart. So after only a few hours in this world, I was life flighted with my mommy to Mayo hospital in Rochester, MN for further treatment. During my stay at Mayo, I only underwent one small procedure in the cath lab to make an existing hole in my heart larger. The larger hole allowed blood from my heart to mix with oxygen from my lungs, which stabilized me enough to be released to meet the rest of my family and my puppy. So after ten days in the NICU at Mayo, I was allowed to go home and get as big and as strong as possible for my up and coming heart surgery. An exact date for my surgery was never set, and instead the doctors kept a very close eye on me and said that my heart would tell us when it was time to be fixed. Well, after a little over a year and countless doctor appointments, my heart told the doctors that it was time to be fixed and the surgery was scheduled for January 19, 2022 at Minnesota Childrens in Minneapolis. We went to the hospital the week before my surgery for my pre-operation appointments and while we were there, the doctors found a growth that was concerning. The growth turned out to be a cancerous germ cell tumor that was completely unrelated to any of my other health issues and it needed to be removed immediately. The surgery on the tumor was successful, but it was decided I need a little time to heal, so my heart surgery was postponed a few days for January 24.  Originally, we were told that I did not need chemotherapy to fight the cancer, but when we went back for my heart surgery, we were then told that the tumor was a stage 2 and that I would indeed need chemo. So, we proceeded with the heart surgery as planned on the 24th and would then begin chemo once my heart was healthy enough to handle it. My surgery lasted about five or six hours and was performed by a surgeon from Childrens and another from Mayo. So I literally had the best of the best on my heart team and they made my incredibly difficult surgery look like a walk in the park. The surgery went extremely smooth and I was moved into my recovery room shortly after it was over. My recovery in the CVCC unit was a little slower than originally anticipated, but after twelve days in the hospital I got to go home. But, while I was recovering, we got a glimmer of good news when the Oncologist came to my room and informed us that the tumor was actually a stage 1b and not a 2 and I qualify for a clinical study. The study allows us to closely monitor me with ct scans and blood work on a monthly basis to make sure the cancer stays gone. So now I am at home getting healthier and bigger every day with regular cardiology and oncology appointments to make sure my heart stays healthy and my cancer doesn’t come back. All of the appointments, surgeries, and time off has been hard on my family physically, emotionally, and financially. We greatly appreciate any generosity that is offered and we plan to pay that generosity forward ten fold in any way we can to other family’s in need. 
    Thank you

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