Monday, March 7, 2011

A non-profit for Aidan

I recently found out about an organization called the National Transplant Assistance Fund and discovered they have a division specifically for those who have experienced a catastrophic injury. According to their "About Us" page:
NTAF helps families address financial hardships arising from uninsured medical expenses related totransplantation (solid organ, bone marrow, stem cell or tissue) and catastrophic injury (spinal cord, traumatic brain).
Established in 1983 by medical professionals, NTAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania, that provides expert fundraising guidance to patients, families and communities nationwide, while offering fiscal accountability of funds raised.
NTAF works to:
  • Raise money and administer funds for medical expenses of patients and living donors not covered by insurance;
  • Provide network identification, custom appeal letters and fundraising guidance;
  • Offer direct financial assistance in the form of $500 and $1,000 challenge grants to eligible patients;
  • Provide expertise, information and education about transplantation and spinal cord injury;
  • Raise awareness about the critical need for solid organ, bone marrow, stem cell and tissue donation;
  • Provide assurance of fiscal accountability in the collection, management and disbursement of funds raised.
Now in its 28th year, NTAF has helped more than 5,000 patients, families and communities nationwide raise more than $70 million to pay for out-of-pocket expenses related to transplantation and catastrophic injury.
Since this organization is a 501(c)3, all donations are tax deductible.
After calling them and getting things setup, I created an "appeal letter" that you can download at http://www.prayforaidan.com/AidanWright-NTAF.pdf. You are welcome to print it out and post at your office, school, or place of worship or you can distribute it via email. Below is the text of that letter:
Please help us meet Aidan’s needs!

Aidan Wright was your typical toddler: curious, inquisitive, playful, and fun. He loved to play with his toys and give hugs and kisses to everyone he met. He literally didn’t know a stranger. All that changed on February 16, 2008 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a near-drowning accident he suffered at his second birthday party.

He got away from family who were at the house and was found face-down in his grandfather’s pond. Aidan’s dad realized that he was missing, only to discover him in the pond. Russell immediately ran down to the edge of the pond and jumped in to get him out. Aidan’s
Nana, who is a Registered Nurse, began CPR immediately while Russell called 911.

It only took three minutes for the first responders to arrive and take over. The paramedics worked on Aidan at the scene, intubated him and continued to try and get a pulse. They did not get a pulse on Aidan until about 40-45 minutes later after they arrived at the ER.

Once at the hospital, initial blood work showed Aidan's blood was extremely acidic. He also had severe hypothermia from his time in the 45° water. We were told to prepare for the worst, because the doctors on duty did not expect Aidan to survive.

Through the first hours, Aidan was warmed slowly until he became fevered from developing pneumonia. As a result, Aidan was kept in a medically induced coma for several days. Initial EEGs showed very slow brain activity and some seizures, while CT scans showed little swelling and initial MRIs showed very little damage to his brain.

After several more EEGs and MRIs, it was found that Aidan was showing more brain activity, but his brain had shrunk somewhat and the areas that initially looked hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) had infarcted (died) on the second MRI, causing a stroke in Aidan's midbrain (basal ganglia) area. This damage results in Aidan having multiple seizures and "sympathetic neuro-storms".

Aidan spent 40 days at the Pediatric ICU of Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast in Concord, NC. He was then transferred to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC where he received physical, occupational and speech therapy for three weeks. Aidan was released from the hospital on April 17, 2008; two months and a day after his accident. He currently continues to receive nursing care at home, as well as inpatient and outpatient therapies. After three years, he has made a lot of progress, but there is still much that needs to be done. He is confined to a wheelchair, non-verbal, and must take feedings and medications via G-Tube.

To assist with the immense challenge of financing uninsured therapies and other injury-related expenses, a fundraising campaign has been established with the NTAF Catastrophic Injury Program. NTAF is a nonprofit organization that assists people needing organ/tissue transplants or having experienced catastrophic injuries. All contributions are administered by NTAF exclusively for injury-related expenses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

To make a charitable contribution:
Make checks payable to: NTAF South-Atlantic Traumatic Brain Injury Fund
Note in memo section: In Honor of Aidan Wright
Send to: NTAF, 150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120, Radnor, PA 19087

To make a credit card contribution, call NTAF at 800-642-8399 or visit www.NTAFund.org and enter Aidan Wright in the Find a Patient box on the NTAF homepage.

Family and friends are also planning a series of community events to benefit Aidan. We can use your time, energy and creativity in any and every way. Please call or email me with any questions, to volunteer your time or to request additional information.

Thank you for your interest in our son, as well as your continued support and prayers.

Russell and Erin Wright
prayforaidan@gmail.com
We have several things we hope to raise funds for:

  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
  • Supplements that we have given Aidan in the past (e.g., Ambrotose and IntraKID
  • A new van with modifications to accommodate a wheelchair
  • G Therapy

There may be other things, but that's a start. As always, we greatly appreciate everything everyone has done for us over the past three years. I pray someday we will have news that Aidan has made a huge step in progress for everyone to see.

~Russell

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