Matt is dealing with liver disease. It's a real shock, because up until a month or two ago, he thought he was fully healthy.
His MELD score (score of danger to your life from liver disease, calculated from lab tests) was 14, which is pretty severe, showing a significant risk to his life in the next three months if he didn't do anything. A score one point higher would have suggested seeing a transplant: "Individuals with cirrhosis and a MELD score of 15 or greater should be referred for a liver transplantation evaluation."
Matt is trying to turn the disease around to hopefully avoid needing a transplant. We are looking at published medical research, specifically focusing on approaches that have had success at reversing the disease process and regenerating healthy liver function. He has a great care team of practitioners and advisers to help implement those approaches. Matt is also doing things already to try to bring his MELD score down and regain liver function. Here's an example of someone else who went put cirrhosis remission with some of these treatments: https://youtu.be/t5h64C1ohK4.
The funds raised here will be used on Matt's out-of-pocket treatment costs. We wholeheartedly appreciate any help you can offer -- anything helps!
Here's the layout for treatment:
The standard treatment for liver disease/cirrhosis is a transplant, which costs $878,000 or more but is usually covered by insurance after your out-of-pocket max. However, the survival rate after transplants is not good (only 72% after 5 years), and you typically have to use anti-rejection drugs with lots of side effects, so Matt would prefer to avoid having a transplant.
So then the other main option is getting his liver to heal. Many people claim that liver scarring is irreversible, but this is disproven in lots of recently published research and case reports of people reversing their end-stage liver disease. The goals are to reduce the fibrosis and scarring in the liver, improve circulation, and encourage the growth of new healthy liver cells in a healthier pattern.
"In order to achieve quick restitution of the functional parenchymal mass in concert with reversal of cirrhosis, the combination of antifibrotic therapy and hepatocyte renewal is attractive."--Liver cirrhosis scientific journal article
For that approach, he is looking at (and in some cases already using) the following treatments that could put him into remission or reverse his liver disease to a less dangerous state, but they are mostly out-of-pocket and not covered by insurance:
- Stem cell treatments, as described in this scientific article, "Treatment of the end Stage Liver Cirrhosis by Human Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells" and "Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transfusion Is Safe and Improves Liver Function in Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Patients"
- Stem cell therapy for liver disease is basically a matter of getting one or more transplants of millions of immune-privileged, non-rejection-causing cells (umbilical cord MSCs) that can become part of Matt's liver and also influence it (immunomodulation), rather than discarding his whole liver for someone else's liver.
- So stem cells are still a transplant -- they just avoid most of the drawbacks of whole-organ transplants.
- Stem cells can also help Matt to heal any collateral damage he got FROM the undiagnosed liver disease (such as to bones, kidneys, gut lining, etc.) - this can happen when the liver is not working well.
- PEMF mat package to help Matt release his own stem cells and reduce inflammation, promote circulation in his liver ($1350) - he got this already and uses it daily (see pic in updates)
- Infrared mat to help with circulation, reduce pain, and promote healing ($139)
- Research-backed, liver-safe Chinese herbs and acupuncture at an intense level to reduce liver fibrosis and help reverse the overall disease (there is LOTS of published scientific research on this helping to reverse cirrhosis, especially in China where these things are the main treatment for the condition), Matt is seeing two specialists and practitioners in these areas - this part is seeming really effective
- Specialist care and diagnostics to check his progress at a top liver hospital or clinic. We are looking at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA Medical Center in LA, because lots of people in Vegas tell us the medical care is not good here and it's best to go to LA.
We are hoping that 6-12 months of this kind of intensive, research-based treatment will put Matt into remission -- or at least a lesser degree of liver disease -- and get him feeling better. He's really ready to feel better after living undiagnosed with this condition for so many years and not knowing why he felt bad.
We also started this page to collect encouragement and prayers. Please pray for Matt and wish him wellness and a successful journey through this crisis! People who know him know he is the sweetest guy ever, and we need him to stick around!
If you'd like to send a get well card, just send us an email to get our address.
If you know any info that might help with his protocol or care team (anyone who's been through something similar, TCM practitioners, research, etc.), please let us know!
I plan to keep people updated on Matt's progress with his condition and treatment journey. I will be posting his new MELD scores and scans when any new information comes in. I'll probably also share some photos and notes about how he's doing. You can follow the page to be notified of updates by email.
Here is a playlist of songs made for him (one is also a video of someone's cirrhosis recovery).
Thanks for caring about Matt! Your concern and thoughts are so helpful. We are so grateful for all the support.
Michelle (Matt's wife)