Jena Doak, [email protected]
Rock Springs, Wyoming, December 29, 2021 — At the young age of 32, Brendan Larimore is down to 90 pounds, and has been in and out of the hospital with the disease of Gastroparesis, an illness that affects the natural movement of muscles in the stomach. He didn’t used to be this way.
Born and raised in Rock Springs, Larimore developed the disease in 2006. He was housebound for his whole high school senior year. He graduated but was too sick to attend graduation ceremonies.
Life expectancy for someone with Gastroparesis is 3 to 7 years. Larimore was determined not to let the disease win. He had good and bad years. Until two months ago, he led a relatively normal life. He attained two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees in psychology.
Two months ago, his disease took an unbearable turn for the worst.
“His wife found him incoherent. He was completely white, and his lips were purple,” said his mother, Mindy Larimore. “Now, he’s extremely malnourished because he can’t get enough nutrients.”
Brendan’s stomach does not empty properly, so he feels nauseous constantly.
Before returning home recently, he was admitted to the University of Utah Medical Center, where he was given a TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition). This is a method to send nutrients from the arm to the heart, and directly into the bloodstream.
“He still has to try to eat what he can so that his stomach and intestines don’t completely shut down,” said Mindy.
There is hope for Brendan. A medical device called a gastric (or stomach) pacemaker could save his life. It would help regulate Brendon’s digestion. However, the device costs $30,000, and the family is asking for community help in raising the funds.
Brendan’s wife, Heather Larimore, started a GoFundMe account for Brendan. The gastric pacemaker is the only way to potentially save Brendan’s life. Unfortunately, Heather’s insurance will not pay for the pacemaker.
“From the research we’ve done, it looks like it’s very effective, but insurance companies don’t cover it because it could pose heart complications,” said Mindy.
Once the funds are raised, Brendan will have the procedure at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. So far, local residents have helped raise $13,000.
Those who are able to help can go to Brendan’s GoFundMe page. People may also donate through PayPal @aidenpearce, and through Venmo @heatherkatura.
“They are extremely grateful for all they have gotten. We just hope this pacemaker will be what he needs to keep him alive,” said Mindy.