A young Prince Rupert man underwent successful eight-hour surgery for a double lung transplant in Vancouver on October 3.
Joshua Morven is so well esteemed by family and friends the 28-year-old has not one, but two GoFundMe campaigns set up by supporters to assist with various costs.
One campaign has a goal of $150,000 and reached $1,700 in a day with 14 donors; the other has a goal of $5,000 reaching $1,500 in just five hours with 10 donations.
Morven has suffered from a debilitating progressive autoimmune disease called Scleroderma which was diagnosed in 2019. Scleroderma is a rare disease that involves hardening and tightening of the skin, but also, as in Josh’s case may cause problems with blood vessels, internal organs, and for some issues in the digestive tract.
“At the time, the doctors said in the future, he’d need to be on the lung transplant list as his lungs would eventually deteriorate,” Robin Roberts, Josh’s uncle and one of the GoFundMe campaign organizers stated.
He was placed on the transplant list several months ago and received the call on Oct. 2 that a double lung match had been found. Doctors have performed only 37 double lung transplant this year.
“The doctors said he’d need blood tests every month to find a blood type match for the donor. We thought it would take months for it to happen,” Roberts stated.
Josh has lived with an oxygen tank for the past two years and has tried holding down jobs, but that has been difficult.
“He is a young man of impeccable character and integrity. He’s incredibly hard-working and many people will recognize him from the places he’s worked around town - Tim Horton’s, baggage handling at the airport, and driving for Gat Leedm Logistics,”stated Kaeleen Foote, close family friend and the other GoFundMe organizer.
“Josh is polite and helpful and has the sweetest smile,” she said.
The transplant procedure is covered through BC Medical. However, there are numerous costs associated that are not covered, Foote explained. Josh had to recently relocate to Vancouver from Prince Rupert to access health care services and be close to Vancouver General where the transplant would occur. Without the assistance of the compassionate care program medication for his condition costs more than $4,000 per month.
“Josh has always been a hard worker but now his health has to be his priority. He has many months of recovery ahead of him,” Foote said.
Roberts explained that post-operative he would need to remain in the hospital for a month to recover and be tube fed. Once released he will need to be tube fed at home for another month. Carol Roberts, his mom has taken time off work for two months to look after him and numerous family members have travelled to Vancouver to be with them.
“[Josh] is kind, loving, caring and always willing to be there for people when they need him, when he could. He is one of the purest 28-year-olds you’d meet,” his uncle stated on the GoFundMe he set up.
“Donations to help cover Josh’s living expenses and transportation costs for family members would be received with gratitude and appreciation. Every little bit helps — no contribution is considered too small,” Foote stated on the GoFundMe she has organized. “Please help this wonderful young man get his life back!”