Thursday, December 31, 2015

• Wildomar Man Awaits Liver Transplant

Do you know Scott Rux? He's a Wildomar resident that many people know. He's been a regular at park events at least as long as I have, and last year he hosted a BBQ for the fire fighters at station 61.

He's part of the Wildomar Facebook page known as WFAC (Wildomar Friends and Community). Many of the regulars meet for Taco Tuesdays at various local eateries.

Scott Rux.
I had heard that he may be in need of a liver transplant back in Summer... what a daunting thing to be facing. I didn't ask him about it because, well... that's a tough thing to bring up to someone.

A look at one of the shirt styles
available, and  a coffee mug too.
He was selling some Straight Outta Wildomar merch at the Trunk or Treat event, and was also manning the snack bar with procedes going to his GoFundMe page.

Then last week I saw a facebook post regarding his GoFundMe page, and I thought I'd ask him if he'd be interested in being featured in a WR Blog. He responded quickly and we met at The Landing Zone for breakfast a couple of days later.

This kind of blog is tricky, because on the one hand he has a compelling story to tell, and on the other hand that means sharing personal things with strangers. He understood that but let me know that he's been pretty open about the whole thing... so here goes.

I asked him how he first became aware of his liver troubles. I was expecting to hear about severe pains, like appendicitis perhaps, and an emergency trip to the hospital, but that's not how he found out.

About five years ago I was in the hospital in Indiana. I was told then that my liver enzymes were up. I went to the doctor and he wanted me to get some tests done, but I didn't have them done. 

After [coming] here [Wildomar] I was in the hospital and my [current] doctor told me, "You need to come see me, your liver is not looking good," but blew that off [too].

I was in the hospital again and he [the doctor] said, "I know you, I told you to come see me in my office." 

I told him, "I know. I promise, I promise, when I get out of here I will."  

— Scott Rux

He sounds like I do when it comes to doctors. Let me rub some dirt on it, and it'll be fine... right?

The only real signs he had at the time were abscesses, in various spots on his body, that needed treatment. He told me that the surgery for those was very painful. His main symptoms today include low energy and fluid retention. I could see that his complexion was on the yellow side too.

Scott has one more test to do, then he's put onto the waiting list.

Once officially on the list, he'll need to able to get to the hospital (Loma Linda, Redlands) in under three hours or he'll lose that opportunity and have to go back on the list.

He does have medical coverage, and estimated that his share of the surgery would be about $4000. Based on the costs I found on the net for such a surgery —which are sky high, it seems like a sum that is well within reach.

Unlike other transplants, like heart or kidney, that can be from congenital issues. Many people on the new liver list got there due to their own habits. Scott didn't shy away about how he got into the situation he's now in.  

Next month'll be a year that I'm sober so I'm showing that I really wanna be sober. I know I messed up and I knew what I was doing when I was doing it. It all goes back to me. it wasn't anyone's fault. It wasn't that I was depressed. I'm not crying wolf. It's one of those things in life that happened and I did it [to myself] and now I'm going to fix it, and not drink anymore. I was a heavy drinker. 

The last time I went to the hospital I told myself, "You've gotta quit drinking," and I did from that moment on.
— Scott Rux

Interesting things I learned during the chat with Scott.
• Scott has to be ready to get to Loma Linda Hospital (Redlands area) in three hours after he gets the call.
• It's a twelve hour surgery.
• Recovery is anywhere from a month to six months in bed.
• Post surgery medication is about $10,000 per month.
• Pre Surgery medications are costing between $3700 and $4000 Per month.

Link to Scott Rux GoFundMe page.

Scott has been a worker since his was 12 years old when he started working at a nearby 7-11. He looks forward to getting through the transplant process and hopes to be able to go back to work.

He was telling me how he'd owned two restaurants back in Indiana, and that he'd love to do barbecue again... because there's no good barbecue here. 

BBQ's not my thing, so I told him I'd defer to his expertise on the matter.

He'd mentioned to me that he doesn't want to be a burden on others, and though he lives with his parents, he doesn't want to burden them with his costs.

I reminded him that friends and neighbors won't mind doing errands, like picking things up from the store or pharmacy. Before he could tell me that he didn't like taking charity, I told him that once he's back to health he can pay it forward, since his friends wouldn't want to be paid back.

If you'd like to help out, you can purchase some of the Straight Outta Wildomar merchandise (Shirts or Mugs) drop a message over at Scott's facebook page.

After a short time with Scott it was obvious to see why he's well liked in the community. For those that aren't comfortable with donating to large organizations, with large overheads, you may consider donating a few dollars to a local man that is eager to return the favor to others.

Here are a couple of links to read more about liver issues and those that need a transplant.

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Wildomar is an awesome community, I've never seen such outpouring. The people are wonderful.  I love doing things [in the community], being involved, I just wish I had more energy. ― Scott Rux

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: maybe it's time to stop putting off that checkup your doctor has been after you about.

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