Prayers For Marcel's Family


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A young man named Marcel is a BYU-I student from Jamaica.  During his high school years, he was an exchange student with a family in our area.  Due to Visa/immigration stuff, he really couldn't go back to Jamaica for a couple weeks.  So, he came here to Texas to spend the time with his host family.

He apparently had a heart condition that no one knew about (including himself or his family).  He's now in the hospital on life support.  His doctors say his heart is at 2% capacity.  He is so bad that he cannot be transported without dying in transit.  And they can only keep him on life support for so long.

His mother is trying to come here to be with him at his last moment.  But flight cancellations due to weather have made it difficult for her to arrange a flight from Jamaica.

There really is no hope of recovery at this point.  But I'd ask for prayers for his family.

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Posted (edited)


There is a glimmer of hope.  The host family says that the prayers are working.  But there are major hurdles.

1. He is eligible for a transplant.  But the hospital where he is doesn't have the right equipment to do the transplant.
2. As a foreign student, his insurance was via ACA.  And it didn't originally allow for him to be treated outside of his designated state (Idaho).
3. They spoke with the ACA office and tried to explain why he can't go to Idaho.  They finally agreed to cover the transplant.  But they wouldn't cover the cost of transport to the hospital across town which has the right equipment.  The big problem is that he can't be taken in an ambulance.  He'd have to be air-lifted.  And that is simply not covered under ACA.

That's where we are.

We can keep praying that the officials at the ACA office will change their minds.

Here's to hoping... and praying.

Edited by Carborendum
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So, apparently I was misinformed on a few details -- I'm getting everything third hand.  But progress has been made.  Here's the latest.

1. The hospital where he is currently had given up on him because he was basically as good as dead already (as far as they knew). (Strange, when he was still conscious and able to communicate).
2. The nurses rallied around this kid and contacted everyone they knew.  One contact was with a doctor in SLC who had formerly been a senior cardiac surgeon in this same hospital in Houston.
3. They said that they had the facilities and the manpower to do a heart transplant.  The good part about his having been at this Houston hospital previously is that he's familiar with the equipment they have, so he can specify the rigging that he will be transported with.  And the transition to the SLC equipment will be smoother.
4. I'm not certain where they are with the airlift.  But I don't think a helicopter can fly from Houston to SLC.  And a plane would probably kill him.  So, that means several stops along the way.  That may kill him.  And I haven't heard yet about the ACA payment for the airlift.

We'll keep praying.

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  • 3 weeks later...


So, Marcel is now in an SLC hospital on heart machine.  While he is considered eligible to receive a heart, he has not yet been put on the list.  Since I'm getting delayed information, I'm not certain if that has happened yet or not.

His mother has had difficulty getting to the United States.  The host family has offered similar host status for the mother.  They even got a pool together from the school where my wife works to pay for all the transportation and accommodations.  But for some reason she is unable to come here to at least see her son before he dies (assuming).

All we can do is wait now. 

It must be difficult to just lie in a hospital bed all day on a machine with nothing to do but hope, pray, and wait to see if you will live or die.  I can't really imagine what it must be like for him.

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