Our son, Ashton Arndt, was born in May of this year. When he was 2 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare disease of the liver, biliary atresia. Until liver transplants became available, this disease was fatal.
On Nov. 11, our 6-month-old baby underwent a unique transplant. Instead of receiving an organ from a person who has passed on, Ashton received a portion of his mom's liver. Although transplants of this kind have been done successfully for seven years, this was the first time in Utah that a parent has donated for their child. The transplant was a success, and Ashton was released from the hospital just 15 days after the surgery.We were fortunate to have medical insurance through ValueCare, a Blue Cross & Blue Shield company, which covers most of the transplant costs. And, although ValueCare agreed that this surgery was the best option for our son, they would not cover the donor surgery. This left unpaid medical bills in excess of $25,000.
Because of the problems with our insurance, we organized a fund-raiser. Reagan Outdoor Advertising, the E-Center and the Utah Grizzlies hockey team were the great organizations that enabled this fund-raiser to be a success. Ashton's dad, Bryan, skated 1,000 laps (almost 100 miles) around the E-Center ice rink. The E-Center provided the facility, the Grizzlies provided excellent resources and support, and Reagan donated a billboard to recognize contributors to Ashton's cause.
Our fund-raiser was very successful thanks to Reagan, the Grizzlies and the E-Center. These companies looked further than profit and the bottom line of their business; they saw the true bottom line, an innocent child dying without their help. Their generosity helped to save the life of our precious baby boy, who may soon be able to say "thank you."
Bryan and JoLayna Arndt