An appeal has been launched to help a Southport dad who is in a US hospital desperately in need of a kidney transplant and money for life-saving medicine.
Father-of-three Paul Mook, aged 59, should be looking forward to his 60th birthday on 2 April.
Instead he is lying in the Mobile Infirmary Medical Center in Alabama suffering from Stage 5 kidney disease and diabetes.
With no health insurance and in a country with a very different health service to the NHS he is in urgent need of life-saving drugs and diabetes medicine as the hospital bills mount up.
The situation is so dire that hospital bosses urged his wife to chase a tax refund just so they could put a dialysis port in his arm.
Paul’s family on both sides of the Atlantic have launched an appeal to help him, setting up a GoFundMe page and a raffle as they urge people to help give what support they can.
The appeal is being led by Paul’s distraught family including his wife, Heather Mook, in the USA, and his niece, Monika Mook, who is in Southport in the UK.
Paul and Heather recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. Heather is now doing all she can to help her stricken husband.
She said: “With a heavy heart I’m asking for help. Paul is in Stage 5 kidney disease and we’ve lost our health insurance because he can no longer work.
“We have applied for disability but that could take up to a year.
“I’m doing my best to keep the household bills paid and it doesn’t leave anything for his medicine or his diabetes supplies.
“The doctors are helping the best they can by taking $5-$25 payments. The hospital has made me sign a paper to get our tax refund just to put a dialysis port in his arm.
“It was a $13,000 surgery that I will still owe on after they take what they can get.
“I am so worried about him running out of his life saving medicine more than anything.
“Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”
Monika meanwhile is determined to raise funds from Southport, UK.
Paul was born up in the scenic seaside resort, growing up in the village of Crossens before his family moved to live on Shakespeare Street near Southport town centre.
He attended Crossens Primary School and then Christ Church School before moving onto Ainsdale High School.
He worked at Swift’s in Preston when he was younger, and worked in professions including as a welder and a bricklayer.
Paul moved with friends from Southport to live in the USA in the 1990s. He has a son, 25, living in the USA and a daughter, 35, and a son, 30, who live in Doncaster in South Yorkshire in the UK, where he lived before emigrating to the USA.
Monika said: “Uncle Paul is in hospital in the USA but grew up in Southport and spent much of his adult life here.
“He was a Crossens boy and grew up there until my Nan and Grandad got a shop on Shakespeare Street then they moved there.
“My whole family are Southport through and through but a lot are older or gone now.
“Uncle Paul needs a transplant right now and we need to raise funds for him.
“We all know that they don’t have the NHS like us over there.
“The first thing I am going to do to help to raise funds is to start a raffle.
“If anyone has any prizes or donations or anything that could help, then please get in touch.
“Please donate and share the appeal if you can.
“Please message and donate and I will be getting some raffle books by the weekend. Hopefully we will have some good prizes from people coming through.
“A lot of Uncle Paul’s old friends from Southport have already donated and I would just like to thank them, and everyone else who has donated already.”
Please donate to the GoFundMe appeal here: Fundraiser by Heather Mook : Paul needs help with medical expenses (gofundme.com) or message Monika Mook via Facebook here or pay via PayPal at: Hmook2012@icloud.com