Cowichan Valley man faces steep costs for life-saving liver transplant

It’s becoming a common problem: a desperate person with a medical complaint finds he or she is forced to become a fundraiser.

It’s becoming a common problem: a desperate person with a medical complaint finds he or she is forced to become a fundraiser.

The Valley’s Rick Alexander, a 25-year Duncan resident and father of three, who needs a liver transplant, is the latest to run up against unexpected health care costs.

“I have to go to Vancouver and live there for four months. I need $15,500. Where am I going to get the money to do that? My daughter, Mary, got me on the GoFundMe, but now I need to let people know,” he said.

Alexander, 69, has cirrhosis of the liver.

“I’ve had it so long, from hepatitis, but I never had jaundice or any of that stuff. I did two of the major test programs, and by 2007 they were saying I was ‘a likely candidate for a transplant’. They always say that. But when I got there, they said, ‘come back in a couple of years.’”

As has been seen in other cases where someone from the Valley has had to look at an operation on the Lower Mainland, the patient has to prove they have the money to pay for the after care before they can get the operation.

Now, Alexander is dealing directly with a transplant team in Vancouver.

“They had me come over. They tested with every test known to man. And it’s getting to the point at my age where soon it might be too late for a transplant. They’ve told me I can get my transplant. Now, I’m trying to raise the funds so that when they call me, I can say I’m ready.”

As of Monday, Alexander had $3,000 on his GoFundMe page. If you’d like to help, check out www.gofundme.com/liverrick