Army 1SG Andy W. Wilson (RET) is in dire need of support and funding for a bilateral lung transplant at Duke Medical Center in North Carolina.  Andy has served this great Nation with honor and distinction for over 24 years, from 10 September 1986 thru 1 October 2010 and is a homebound disabled Veteran.  In 2006, while still serving on Active Duty as a 1SG with the Special Operations Recruiting Battalion, Andy was diagnosed with a rare disease called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency.  This is a hereditary disorder characterized by low levels of protein found in the blood called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin. 

Although this is a hereditary disorder and affects people at different ages, the deficiency of A1AT provides a pathway for substances that typically break down proteins to attack various tissues of the body.  This has a devastating and destructive impact on the lungs as well as the liver.  This destruction can be accelerated by being exposed to some occupational hazards, as in wartime deployments, duty locations, and travels, as Andy has done for his Country during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).  He had lost over half of his functioning lung tissue from the age of 18 to 38 years old by the time he was diagnosed in 2006. 

By the time Andy retired from Active Service in 2010 his functioning lung capacity had decreased to a staggering 38%.  Despite the current weekly intravenous infusion treatment of Zemaira (since 2008), an Alpha-1 Proteinase Inhibitor, Andy is on daily portable oxygen and daily medications.  His most recent visit to Duke Medical Center shows he is currently living at just 27% functioning lung capacity and is considered to have Stage 4 A1AT deficiency out of 5 (which is terminal).  The secondary effects of this disease that Andy also battles are Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Emphysema, and continuous liver monitoring, as the liver is also attacked by this A1AT deficiency.  Recently the prognosis has worsened as the secondary effects continue to build as he now has Pulmonary Hypertension, a type of high blood pressure affecting the right side of his heart and the arteries of his lungs.

Andy, being a single parent since January 2014 after the tragic loss of his wife, desperately needs funding for this bilateral lung transplant.  Duke Medical Center currently has Andy as an approved candidate for this procedure that will provide him a viable life with normal activities that we take for granted; however, due to the lack of funding Duke Medical Center cannot place him on the National Registry lung transplant list.  The goal is $40,000 in contributions.  The first $20,000 allows the financial payment to Duke Medical Center for the surgery and places Andy immediately on the National Registry transplant list.  Andy must become a resident at Duke Medical Center for approximately one entire year once placed on this list, also at his own cost.  This is where the remaining $20,000 must be raised for him to have living accommodations and utilities, as well as 24 hour live in health care. 

Andy will have to fight things like tissue rejection and infection during his recovery period and will be on immunosuppression drugs for the rest of his life; however, his quality of life can be transformed with this successful procedure.  This places an enormous strain on his family financially, physically, and emotionally.  Please know that every dollar that is raised will go directly to his care and recovery.  Please donate to help save this incredible man, father, friend, and Veteran.

** All Donations are TaX DEDUCTIBLE **


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