By Paula Walter
Johnson Countian, Steve Roman, has suffered with COPD and emphysema for approximately five years. Up until then, his health was good. He used to love social activities, especially dancing with his wife, but his health has deteriorated rapidly in the past few years. His lung capacity at this point is 16 percent. Even with oxygen, something as simple as getting out of bed is a struggle. He can barely walk 50 feet without getting out of breath. Steve is afraid of running out of oxygen and has become a recluse.
Steve needs to have an autologous stem cell treatment, double venous. The cost for this procedure is $12,000. There is no insurance coverage for this treatment at this time. The cost includes six days of outpatient treatment where stem cells are removed, separated and then go right back into his body. The procedure itself lasts for three days. The fee includes follow up care for at least 12 months. According to information from the Lung Institute who offers this minimally invasive procedure, 84 percent of patients have been able to improve their lung function up to 55 percent and sometimes reduce the need for oxygen.
Rainbow Mennonite will be having a BBQ fundraiser on Friday, November 18th, to help raise funds for Steve to receive the stem cell treatment. There is also a gofund me account that can be accessed at gofundme.com by searching for Steven Roman, Mountain City, Tennessee.
The hope is that Steve can have this procedure done in a few months and give him back his quality of life. The family is grateful for every donation as each one brings him closer to getting the help he needs. They are optimistic that he will get at least 30 percent of his lung capacity back.
“I just want to have one more dance with him,” said his wife, Joanna.