Needville man receives heart transplant

Fundraiser to help with costs

Joe Rosales is grateful to be alive. He recently received a lifesaving heart transplant and is currently recovering. The costs are overwhelming, so volunteers are planning a barbecue fundraiser to help.

In 2008, Rosales broke his ankle, an injury requiring pins to be inserted during surgery. At a pre-operation medical appointment, his doctor reviewed the routine EKG and asked him when he had suffered a heart attack. Rosales, 59, was shocked to hear this question because he didn’t even know he had experienced a heart attack.

After seeing a cardiologist and undergoing multiple tests, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, which afflicted his father, grandparents and multiple aunts. Doctors said a heart transplant was essential to his survival. In 2010, he suffered another heart attack, and doctors implanted a defibrillator to assist his heart while he awaited his transplant. He received his transplant Saturday, March 24 and is thrilled to begin his road to recovery.

Rosales’ health issues forced him to stop working and limited his abilities to participate in many activities. He has always gone out of his way to assist others, so it’s been difficult for him to rely on others for help. Despite these challenges, he is forever grateful for the love and support of Evangeline, his wife of nearly 40 years, their two children, family and friends. His three grandchildren mean the world to him, and he looks forward to having the energy to spend more time with them after he fully recovers. He is anxious to resume his active life of working, hiking and riding horses.

A heart transplant costs nearly $1 million. Even with health insurance, he faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of his life, Rosales will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. His post-transplant medications are very costly, and they are as critical to his survival as the transplant itself.

To help alleviate the financial burden, the Rosales family turned to the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance with some of these financial burdens. NFT is a nonprofit organization that helps patients raise funds to pay for transplant-related expenses.

“Of course, we’re thrilled that Joe received his transplant,” said Kay Horne, NFT fundraising consultant. “But he still faces significant expenses, and those can be financially devastating. At NFT, we’re helping Joe’s family raise the necessary funds so they can focus on his health and their family without constantly worrying about the expenses.”

are planning a barbecue dinner and live auction, Saturday, April 14 at 4 p.m. at Leroy Miksch Memorial Pavilion in Needville. Barbecue plates will be available for $8, and the event will include live music, a raffle for an iPad, children’s activities, and a live auction consisting of household items, baked goods, arts and crafts and more.

For questions or more information, please contact Eva Rosales at or 979-793-7394.

To make a tax-deductible donation in honor of Rosales, please send a contribution to the NFT Texas Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write “in honor of Joe Rosales” on the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at Donors should select “Find or Become an NFT Patient” to locate Rosales.

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Posted by on Apr 2 2012. Filed under Needville. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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