DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) — A Des Moines father of three is desperate for a new heart. Dustin Bachman, 35, was diagnosed with heart failure in 2013 but last Christmas it got progressively worse.
“They determined my heart is actually only at 10%, and my kidneys are failing rapidly,” said Bachman. “I was told that they couldn’t guarantee me a couple moths. That was four and a half weeks ago.”
Bachman says he is not on the heart transplant list because his chance of surviving the transplant surgery is low. His doctors at the University of Iowa Hospital are hoping a new medication will strengthen his heart enough for surgery. Bachman says he will find out later this week if the medication is working.
“I can’t wait to get that second chance. I guess I should say third chance,” said Bachman.
Bachman has faced death before. When he was 15 months old, doctors diagnosed him with stage two Neuroblastoma cancer. Doctors told Bachman’s parents that he would not live past age 3.
“I went through the chemotherapy and during that 15 months to three my mother went to 23 funerals of children that did not make it. I was the first one not only at the hospital to make it, but I was the first one in the state of Iowa to survive that cancer,” Bachman said.
Not only did Bachman survive, but he went on to have three children. Doctors once told his parents that he would never be able to have kids.
“Everything that they have said, I have literally overcame,” said Bachman.
In 2013 everything changed. Bachman started feeling ill and has no energy to play with his children.
“It came out of nowhere,” Bachman said. “One day I literally couldn’t get off the couch. I couldn’t walk. I was struggling to breathe. In 2015, I had a heart attack, and I dropped. My son was there. The defibrillator had gone off 11 times in 12 minutes. It saved my life when the ambulance got there. I remember being in the back and my friend Vinny was right behind the ambulance the whole time with my son. I got to see him.
On Christmas Day last year, Bachman woke up hardly able to breathe. Doctors told him he could die in his sleep at any time because he is not getting enough blood flow from his heart.
“When you get told some information like that and then you tell your kids goodnight, I don’t know who can actually go to bed,” Bachman said.
Bachman says he is not giving up. He is determined to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day even though she is only one year old right now.
“My kids’ future… they need their dad. I choose not to lay down. I choose to fight. That’s what I’m here for,” said Bachman.
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