Published: 4/09 5:00 pm Updated: 4/09 6:00 pm
A Paradise teen battling cystic fibrosis is in desperate need of a double lung transplant to save his life.
But three different insurance companies have refused to cover the procedure.
19-year-old Brandon Schmidt can barely leave his paradise home and relies on large oxygen tanks 24 hours a day in order to breathe.
Schmidt was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 4-months-old and has been on oxygen and numerous other therapies since he was 15.
“He wants to travel around the world. He has dreams just like the rest of us,” Liz Schmidt said of her son.
Schmidt’s condition has been quickly deteriorating.
His lungs have collapsed eight times and he’s needed life support three times.
“They told me to call my family and I refused, and I’m glad I did, because he is with me 16 months later,” Liz Schmidt said.
Schmidt needs a double lung transplant to survive, but hospitals are hesitant to do the surgery because of potential complications.
“You have to be healthy, but not too healthy. You can’t be too sick, but you have to be on the verge of death,” Liz Schmidt said.
The family is working to schedule a consultation at UC San Francisco, but even if the medical center agrees to do the surgery there’s another problem.
Insurance is refusing to cover the surgery which will likely cost more than $400,000.
“I’ve written letters, I’ve been to everybody asking for help. My husband’s been helping and we just keep getting denied,” Liz Schmidt said.
While an attorney is looking into the denials for free, the family needs to raise money to cover the $500 a day it will cost for the consultations.
They are hoping to do that by raffling off family jewelry and holding a bake sale among other things.
“We’re trying to start up a 5K. We need sponsors in the area to help sponsor us,” Liz Schmidt said.
There is a bake sale set for Saturday morning in front of the Dollar Store beginning at 10.
The family is also working to set up a fundraising site through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.
If you’d like to help with any of the fundraisers, you can contact the family at firstname.lastname@example.org
via Paradise Teen Battling Cystic Fibrosis in Need of Transplant – NBC 24 Action News.