Share the Season: Father’s heart problems leave family strapped

12/16/2012 6:32 AM

12/16/2012 6:32 AM

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

Last year, this husband and father suffered a stroke at age 34. Two months later, the family of five found out he has congestive heart failure.

He was placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant in August this year.

“His heart only can keep up with his body at rest,” the wife said in her application to Share the Season. “Taking a five-minute shower exhausts him.”

He is unable to work, so the family must depend on the 38-year-old mother, who works as a family support worker.

She and her teenage son attend therapy.

“My oldest son is having a lot of trouble with it,” she said. “We just don’t have the money to go run and do stuff. And when you’re a 16-year-old boy, that just doesn’t make sense.”

With just the mother’s income, the monthly bills are hardly getting paid. Her workplace paid for a utility bill last summer, and Share the Season took care of another utility bill right before it got cut off.

But almost as important is money to take care of the family’s car.

She drives her husband to Kansas City for monthly doctor visits. Soon, she expects the appointments to be more frequent.

The car needs new tires and ball bearings, and the “check engine” light has been on.

“I’m very appreciative and glad to have something,” the mother of three said. “I would never be able to pay for my car at this time.”

So far, Share the Season has raised $138,953.

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

To donate online, go to www.sharetheseason.org. Or use your smartphone to scan the QR code near this story.

Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous.

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