Tim Ziegler’s Heart Transplant Fund
Tim is a dedicated and beloved science teacher of over 20 years at Stowe High School in Stowe, Vermont. He suffers from cardiac sarcoidosis, a degenerative disease and has just been placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Eighteen months ago, as Tim was helping his youngest daughter move into her college dorm, he noticed an unusual shortness of breath. After several months of doctors’ visits, testing, and deteriorating health, he was diagnosed with cardiac sarcoidosis, a rare disease in which clusters of white blood cells form in the heart, damaging tissue and interfering with heart function. In spite of prescribed treatments, his condition has rapidly deteriorated and he now needs to have an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assistive Device) implanted to keep him alive until a donor heart becomes available.
Prior to his diagnosis, Tim was healthy and active, teaching, coaching soccer, and working several part-time jobs to supplement his salary and support his family – wife, Niki, 15-year-old son Josh, 20-year-old daughter Yannah, and 25-year-old daughter Kate, who has spent the last nine years on a feeding tube and using a wheelchair as a result of multiple auto-immune diseases. Daughter Leah and son-in-law David complete the close-knit family. Due to the medical needs of both their daughter and his elderly mother-in-law who also lives with them, his wife has been unable to work and Tim has been the sole wage earner for the family.
Tim is not accustomed to asking for help. Rather, he and his family have spent their lives helping those around them, organizing food drives, collecting Christmas gifts for needy children, serving Thanksgiving meals to the elderly, and helping those in need.
After a lifetime of helping others, Tim and his family now need help as they face the enormous medical expenses that will come with surgery for the LVAD, the heart transplant, months of hospitalization, and anti-rejection drugs (which can cost $2,500/month), as well as travel expenses and lost wages. Any help that can be offered will be greatly appreciated.