In the second installment of our Client Spotlight series we chat with one of TJBF's newest client's, Inoch Fennessee.
Can you tell me a little about how you ended up in the hospital?
It Started in January of 2010. I had chest pains, went to the hospital, and at the end of some tests they told me I had congestive heart failure. It was about two years until I got my VAD. For the first year I was doing pretty well getting around. When I moved to Florida in 2011 I got real sick, started building up fluid and my quality of life just really decreased. Things just continued to decrease and in the summer of 2012 I had another heart attack, which was the final straw leading me to getting a VAD on Christmas Eve 2012. Having the VAD has been an amazing improvement in my quality of life. There are pros and cons, but it’s absolutely an improvement compared to not having it.
Can you tell me about your experience with The Joe Beretta Foundation?
I heard about TJBF in clinic at VUMC. My experience has been outstanding. Everything has been really fast as far as getting me help. I’m just super appreciative of what you’ve been able to do.
Can you tell me about a specific moment where TJBF was able to help you?
I was really in-between a rock and a hard place. Davey and Caitlin were able to team together to get me out of that tight spot. The place that I had been living, wasn’t going to be available anymore, and I had nowhere to turn. The missions wouldn't take me because of my medical equipment, and I was a few days from ending up on the streets. The staff at Vanderbilt and TJBF were able to work together and find a place for me to stay, while I sort out my future.
What are some of the things you enjoy doing?
I love sports, watching sports and talking about them with friends. I’m also a big gamer. Other than that, the biggest thing for me is family time. I love talking and spending time with my two daughters and my son.
How has heart failure limited your ability to do those things?
Honestly, my life is about as good as it can be with the VAD. There are certain things like swimming, or being super active that I'm obviously not able to do. But, I’m working towards being able to get a transplant and truly be able to do everything I did before.
If you were to speak face to face with the donors who helped provide you with help, what would you say?
I’d definitely say that I greatly appreciate all of the help that TJBF gave to me. There are a lot of people who have my condition that absolutely need help. There are just some people who can’t do everything by themselves, and they are helping take care of those people.