20 year old Eriock Mezilas has finally made it onto the lung transplant list. He was put on the list Thursday night after the community raised 40,000 dollars in one day for his aftercare.
Mezila’s parents never dreamed that they would one day have to choose between saving their older child’s life or continuing to feed his two younger siblings. However, that is exactly what would have happened if the community had not pulled together to save him.
To have a lung transplant you have to be able to afford the aftercare to be approved the Mezila’s were unable to do that. While Eriock’s father’s insurance from work would cover the transplant itself the co pay on the aftercare was more than the Mezila’s could afford.
Eriock graduated last week while fighting for his life and is now laying in Tampa General Hospital waiting on a donor.
When the story of Eriock’s dilemma hit the St. Petersburg Times and its internet site Tampabay.com the outpouring was quick. 100’s of donors gave anywhere from 50 to 1,000 dollars to help with his aftercare. At least 2 donors donated 10,000 dollars bringing the total to 40,000. This was 4 times what the hospital told the Mezila’s they would need to take care of Eriock after the transplant.
Mezila and his mom will have to live in Tampa for 3 months following the transplant and even after he will have to go to Tampa General every 4 weeks for the first year.
This was a miracle and the Mezila’s are forever thankful to the community who helped them.