Zo’s Fund for Life has successfully helped Omar get the liver transplant he needed so badly--and now the public is needed for support to reach the entire goal necessary for post-transplant related medical expenses.Here's the update:
Alonzo Mourning, NBA All-Star and Founder of Zo’s Fund For Life, an organization Mourning launched shortly after he learned he would need an organ transplant, has been leading a campaign to quickly raise funds for a three-year-old boy named Omar Ferguson who was in desperate need of a liver transplant. Omar’s health began deteriorating rapidly last week and he was put on life support with only one effective treatment option: a liver transplant.
Zo’s Fund for Life raised the initial funds needed in order to place Omar on the transplant waiting list and doctors at the Holtz Children’s Hospital at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus in Miami, Florida quickly moved Omar to priority status. A donor liver became available on Saturday, December 13, 2008 and was flown in from California to Miami where doctors immediately performed a successful transplantation on little Omar who was clinging to life.
Just over 48 hours since the transplant surgery, Omar remains in intensive care and is being closely monitored by the pediatric transplant team. “The new liver is functioning well and has allowed Omar to be disconnected from the hemodialysis machine,” said Andreas G. Tzakis, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Liver/GI Transplant Surgery, Director of the Miami Transplant Institute, and Professor of Surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and Miami Transplant Institute. “He is still in critical condition but is making a very steady progress. The next few days will be very decisive for his outcome.”
The race to “Give Omar Life,” a campaign initiated by Zo’s Fund for Life who recognized the importance of giving Omar the chance to live, is not over yet. Omar will need ongoing post-transplant care and several immunosuppressant medications to help fight against organ rejection in addition to the current transplant-related expenses, which are all a part of the overall $300,000 goal to be raised. Omar’s mother took a leap of faith when she left their hometown in the Bahamas, whose hospital did not have adequate medical facilities to perform the necessary transplant, and came to the U.S. without health insurance.
Zo’s Fund for Life has donated $50,000 of the $300,000 needed to “Give Omar Life” and has raised a total of $142,000 to date. Donations have been streaming in from all over the country but there is still $158,000 to be raised. Zo’s Fund for Life continues to call on the public’s support in order to meet the goal needed for the entire cost of the transplant as well as post-transplant related medical expenses.
“It’s because of the support and heartfelt gratitude from folks in our community and around the nation that Omar received the greatest gift of all this holiday season: a chance at life,” said Mourning. “We’re nearly halfway to reaching our goal and need your help to successfully get there.”
In the spirit and season of giving, Mourning is urging the public to contribute to the “Give Omar Life” fund as soon as possible. Donations are tax-deductible and accepted by:
· Debit or credit card via PayPal at www.ZosFundForLife.org/Omar or by calling 1-888-520-ZFFL (9335).
· Mail a check payable to Zo’s Fund For Life (reference: Omar) at Zo’s Fund for Life, PO Box 330110, Miami, FL 33233.
· Drop off cash or overnight/courier a check to Alonzo Mourning Charities, Inc., c/o Zo's Fund For Life, 2901 Florida Avenue, Suite 806, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133.
· Wire transfer to Zo's Fund for Life, Regions Bank, 2800 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL, Account #: 9660220568, ABA/Routing #: 062000019.