Husband waits for new heart
A woman is raising money to help her husband as he waits for a life-saving heart transplant in America.
Carmen Lodge is aiming to raise $10,000 to support her husband, Anthony, in Boston until a suitable donor organ is available.
Mrs Lodge said her husband's heart was so damaged that doctors in the US were forced to install an artificial pump to his heart to keep him alive.
The pump is attached to a monitor, which tracks the performance of his heart.
Mrs Lodge said: “This will help him function and keep him alive until a heart becomes available.”
The former bus driver's condition means he is unable to return to Bermuda while he is on the waiting list.
Mrs Lodge explained: “Bermuda doesn't have the resources to take care of him if something goes wrong — EMTs have to be trained on how to handle him if there is an emergency.”
She added that power firm Belco would also have to prioritise him if there was an electricity failure as he is dependant on machines to keep him alive.
She was speaking after Mr Lodge, 52, who has suffered heart problems for a decade, was rushed to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston after his condition deteriorated.
Mrs Lodge said her husband was fitted with a defibrillator to keep his heartbeat regular ten years ago.
He was fitted with a new defibrillator last year but when he came home from work in June, she noticed his heart was racing.
She explained: “I could feel his heart beating in the bed so I rushed him to the hospital. They did their best to try and stabilise the heart but within 48 hours his kidney and liver started to shut down.”
Mr Lodge, from Southampton, was admitted to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, but doctors were unable to stabilise him and he was transferred to the Boston hospital two days after admission.
Mrs Lodge said: “As soon as we got there, they explained how ill he was. We went through his proxy — what his wishes were, whether they should resuscitate him, would he need to go on life support if it came to it.
“They had him on medications to try to stabilise his heart in preparation for heart surgery.
“With all that, he continued to deteriorate,”
Doctors in Boston had warned them that, although Mr Lodge is high on the waiting list, he could still face a long wait for a donor organ.
Mrs Lodge said: “The heart has to be the perfect size for his body and he does have to stay at a certain weight.”
Her husband is missing family and friends. Mrs Lodge said: “It's hard knowing that he can't come back to Bermuda with the device and that he has to be away from his family, especially his granddaughters.
“We asked if he could come home to Bermuda for at least 24 hours but the answer was no. He was sad yesterday. The tears came. He misses our granddaughters so much.
“I told him I will work on bringing them. We are looking at a long wait here in the States.”
Mrs Lodge added: “We are blessed because we have children in New Jersey so they can take him to appointments and do his groceries.”
She said: “Everybody has been supportive. It's been hard for me as well. I have fought breast cancer, I had two brain tumours and now I have lupus as well.
“It has been me trying to handle our expenses and our life here in Bermuda and handle him — I have to put him in an apartment and it can't be too far from the hospital.
“We have been truly blessed despite our challenges. The Lord has blessed us, we are alive and the prayers and support have been wonderful.”
• The family have set up a GoFundMe page for donations under the title lodge-medical-living-expense
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