Bisson family struggles to meet medical expenses
Steve Bisson, waiting for a liver transplant and spouse, Debrah. They sincerely appreciate the donations they have received.
Steve Bisson is still on a waiting list for people who can’t wait. He is a native of Bridge City and is in need of a liver transplant.
Steve and wife, Debrah, must be prepared to go to Houston and stay there on a moment’s notice from St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital on Main Street. Not long ago, they received the long awaited call from the hospital to go in for his liver transplant.
“When they call, you have to leave immediately,” said Debrah.
There is a six to twelve hour window from the time the liver arrives at the hospital until it can be transplanted, she explained. The sooner the patient can get to the hospital, the better. Preferably, the liver should be transplanted within the first six hours. It has many, tiny vessels and veins that all have to be attached. The long and tedious surgery can last up to six hours or more.
“Gearing up for the surgery was hard,” Debrah said, “Steve was a nervous wreck on the way to Houston.”
They arrived at St. Luke’s where the staff admitted Steve and started IV fluids. The liver was there and he was ready to undergo the transplant.
Livers can come from anywhere in the United States. When the liver arrives, it is carefully screened and tested to be sure it is healthy. There is only a 50/50 chance it will be usable. The doctor grades it on a scale from 1 – 6. Unfortunately, the liver available that day was given a grade of 4 and was deemed unusable.
“The doctor came in and said it was too brown and getting hard. It was quite a let down,” said Debrah.
Steve kept his position on the waiting list and his determination to get well. There are only a few others ahead of him in more critical condition. He has a healthy heart and is expected to do well during and after surgery. He is eating right and cutting out all the salt. They have both become organ donors since all of this has happened.
“Just one person donating organs can help up to 88 people. If I could help just one person it would be worth doing,” said Debrah.
Steve and Debrah were told to be prepared and stay ready for the next time they will receive that important phone call. The donations from the community and friends make this possible. It could be any day.
Steve was born in the old Orange hospital in 1955. He moved to Bridge City with his family in 1964. Steve’s father, L. J. Bisson, ran for mayor of Bridge City in 1970.
“He was very influential in Bridge City becoming incorporated,” said Steve.
Steve worked at the Orange Bowling Alley while still attending Bridge City High School. After graduating in 1974, he worked for Transit Mix cement company for twenty years and was plant manager. He then drove a dump truck for C& B. He has been a long time member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Orange.
“That’s where ‘Pop’ use to take us to church,” Steve added.
Steve met Debrah in 2000 and she moved to Bridge City to begin their lives together. Steve has three children, Robert, Sarah and Candice, all grown and married. He has nine grandchildren he says he cannot wait to take fishing.
Steve and Debrah would like to thank everyone who has helped out with medical expenses. With the money donated, Steve has been able to continue going to St. Luke’s every week, where doctors are closely monitoring him. Donations have made it possible for him to get the medicine he needs, which cost $500 a month.
Steve and Debrah have also been able to rent a space to park their camper in a safe location, only five miles from the hospital. The RV park is often the sight utilized, for families going through similar circumstances, to park campers. A convenient shuttle bus provides transportation from the park to the hospital.
“They don’t have the kind of hospitals that can do a liver transplant just anywhere,” said Debrah. “We are lucky to be close enough to one in Houston.”
They will have to stay in Houston for thirty days after the surgery, making daily visits to the hospital for checkups. Being able to stay in the camper close by the hospital will be a huge help. Steve will go back to Houston once a week after the thirty day stretch, then progressively less frequently.
Steve is under the care of two doctors. Dr. Duchini is a liver doctor from Italy. He has an office in Beaumont and takes good care of Steve. They really like him. Dr. Duchini would like to see a liver transplant center come to Beaumont. Steve’s surgeon will be Dr. John Goss out of Houston.
Recently, in the hospital elevator, Steve and Debrah met a couple coming in for their first visit. Their hearts and prayers go out to others facing similar trials and they understand what people are going through.
Steve and Debrah ask for your prayers as they face the challenges that lie ahead. One day this will all be behind them. When that day comes, they plan to take the camper to the lake with the grandkids and do some fishing and relaxing by the water.
Folks wanting to help can call the Firestone credit union at 409-697-2461 and request a transfer to an account set up for Steve Bisson. Or you can mail a donation to: Steve Bisson, 755 Connecticut St., Bridge City, TX 77611. Or call Steve or Debrah at 409-735-5914 and make arrangements. Every donation, large and small, makes a big difference and is very much appreciated. The Bisson’s wish to express their sincere gratitude to everyone who has been able to make a donation.