Walter Trout Needs a New Liver - You Can Help!

For: Walter Trout
Organizer: Kirby Bryant on behalf of:
$241,362
of $250,000 goal.
Raised by 3492 donors
96% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Walter is currently hospitalized & in urgent need of a liver transplant!

Walter has been battling severe liver disease bravely for the past many months. He has continued touring and recording until a few weeks ago - he loves playing for people, and it has been the best medicine for him.

We were given hope that medicinal treatment could reverse his condition but we now know that this hasn't worked. His liver has failed, and doctors say his survival depends on receiving a transplant. 

He  is currently at UCLA in and out of Intensive Care, which is a prime facility for liver transplants. Walter has health insurance but this will not cover the full cost of his treatment. The medical expenses, co-pay, medication, after-care, etc. are going to be immense.

  • Walter will need to cancel much of the tour planned for 2014 leaving him and his family with little income.
  • By helping support this effort, you can help give Walter peace of mind and focus solely on his health and recovery before, during and after the transplant.
  • The timeline is uncertain at this point. Waiting for a suitable liver donor in the hospital can be a lengthy and costly process of many weeks or even months.
  • There will be considerable cost for rehabilitation, re-training and physical therapy post-surgery

Quote From Walter's Wife Marie:

"Thank you for coming here and sending your love towards Walter. It means the world to him and to me to feel surrounded with your love and prayers at this difficult time. Walter has lost 100 pounds and most of his muscle tissue in the past year, and suffered much pain. It has been heart wrenching to watch him go through this. He has tried to put on a brave face for us all - he has kept playing, composing, singing, touring, and recording because music and communicating through music has always been his life line.. But he has reached the point, where he is too sick to stand up or even hold a guitar. Thank you again on Walter's behalf for your love and support."

What Happens When You Donate?

Any funds will go straight to helping Walter with his medical expenses offering him and his family some help offsetting the many expenses related to this situation. Walter has been given a great prognosis for a full recovery. He should be able to withstand the massive operation. Walter wants to stay alive and be with his wife and three sons (ages 20,18 and 12). We all want him to also keep playing music for decades to come once his new liver is implanted and settled. Doctors say that Walter's lungs, kidneys and heart are all in great condition, so once a new liver is in there, he is expected to make a full recovery. You will own a little piece of this success every time Walter takes to the stage in years to come when you help support this effort. Walter's wife Marie will be posting updates on his condition. To recevie these please subscribe by selecting the "subscribe to updates" option directly under the blue "give now" button. 

TO MAKE A DONATION BY CHEQUE:

-Please make cheques payable to 'Walter Trout'
-Address: Walter Trout, PO Box 246, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA
-Your donation will be manually added to the campaign total. Let us know if you wish to remain anonymous or have your donation anonymous. 

If you cannot donate at this time, you can still help by:

  • Sharing this campaign.
  • Keeping Walter in your prayers. Send some positive and healing thoughts to Walter and his family. 
  • If you sign up on Walter's regular mailing list, we will keep you posted with updates on information regarding Walter's music right to your inbox. You can sign up here

From Kirby:

Thanks for visiting this page. My name is Kirby and I am a personal friend of Walter's family. I have set up this campaign on behalf of the Trout family to help provide financial support during this extremely difficult time. All money donated goes directly into Walters bank account (minus minimal fees).
Walter has mentored my husband, Danny Bryant and been his 'musical father' since Danny was just 15 years old. The kindness and continued support he has shown us all over the years is indescribable. I simply don't know anyone else in the world like him!  Thanks for your help and support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 1, 2015

Posted on January 1, 2015

Marie:

New Year’s Eve 2014 at the Trouts…. Standing in our driveway surrounded with friends and neighbors watching the annual driveway jam took on a whole new dimension yesterday. A year ago, Walter could barely make it through one song, and our family existed under the heavy foreboding weight of uncertainty. Our lives were fraught with a sense of impending doom. Walter was getting weaker and weaker, and we all feared that the end was near.

What a year it has been! Everything has changed for our family in this past year. We have faced death; we have faced our fears, and our own darkest inner shadows. I have learned to share my life from a place of vulnerability, and been blessed with understanding and support from others that has changed my life. Our family has been loved unconditionally – and we have survived emotionally and physically with Walter still among us like Lazarus rising from his deathbed thanks to medical science and the ultimate gift from an organ donor and his or her family.

Last night marked Walter’s first short concert experience – where he played and sang for an audience. It was a moment in time that seemed impossible just a few short months ago. The temperature outside was close to freezing – hardly an ideal setting for fingers to have to move at lightning speed over the fret board – but nonetheless Walter played close to a flawless short set! He played and sang his butt off sharing the driveway “stage” with all three of our sons. The tears in the eyes of our neighbors who pray for him daily reminded me that this event was one we share with so many, who have not only held us this past year, but who have given us the love, faith, and the courage to fight for this moment to happen.

I stood there between the headlights of our car in the driveway that provided the light for the concert and took it all in. I watched many wipe tears from their eyes as Walter reclaimed his voice, his moves (those leg moves), his playing style, and his energy that drives the music through the sound barrier with his super-sonic rocket booster playing style. I did not cry. I reveled in the moment. I celebrated with each breath. I watched a miracle unfold in front of me and I stood almost in disbelief. The moment manifested what I had been hoping and praying for all year – and there it was right in front of me on the threshold of the New Year: Walter KICKING ASS!!! He was surrounded musically with the wall of sound provided by three Trout guitar players and a Trout drummer, our friend Eric on bass, and the loving presence of a small audience egging him on.

The short set list was:

  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Going Down
  • Born to be Wild
  • Fortunate Son

The Trouts took turns soloing and singing. I will see if I can get a decent sound and video file uploaded to youtube to share it with you in the coming days.

Honestly, I don’t understand why I didn’t cry. Maybe I am still in shock from the past year and still can’t really unpack my emotions. But as I write that, I actually don’t think that is it. I did not repress or deny my emotions this past year. As those of you who followed our journey know, I shared the bad, the ugly, and the terrible as it happened. I visited with it; I walked my way into it and through it with you walking right next to me. I lived the blues openly. And last night, it felt as if I danced even as I stood perfectly still. I danced my way through a celebration of epic proportions! I heard Walter’s stage voice and playing wash over me, and watched his essence unleash as it only really does when he is in the zone on stage in front of people with a fat groove behind him.

It was a real life miracle that found its first solid manifestation last night: Walter still has it! He is still able to musically launch into the stratosphere and take others with him on that flight of experiential delight. It is such a big part of him! And “it” survived too!

Wishing others a Happy New Year has a new timbre and tonality to it for me this year. And as I stood there between the headlights of our makeshift driveway concert venue last night, I sent a grateful wish to each of you: May you share in the joy of this rebirth, this newness, this joyous reclaiming with us; my thoughts go to each of you with profound thankfulness! May you too find the wonder of new beginnings as we do ours!

Happy New Year!


Posted on December 24, 2014

Posted on December 24, 2014

Marie:

The rain is gently falling – and the sound reminds me of the permanence of all things. It is a gentle, steady sound that has accompanied humanity in all of its existence. It soothes my soul on this Christmas Eve morning.

Soon the sounds of my family will join in, and we will head downstairs and start preparations for our part of our Christmas dinner that I will take with me to my mom’s tonight where our entire family will gather. We will sing Christmas hymns and songs, my aunt will accompany us on the piano, we will dance around the Christmas Tree, eat lots of good food, tell silly jokes, laugh, marvel at candle lights lighting the tree, and hold hands. Glaringly obviously absent from our holiday celebration are the presents. We are not doing that this year. We all are the gifts.

This year we are not taking the togetherness for granted: Who we are with. The food we eat. The rituals we engage in. That is our presents. Being able to be here is a present. Being alive and loved is a present. If I think about it, it is a present that so far surpasses any man-made contraption that could fit under the tree or appear magically out of Santa’s overstuffed sack.

Walter is with us. Walter and I have been in Denmark since December11th, our kids joined us shortly thereafter as they could get away from their obligations at school. And we have just been together in the dunes by the West Coast of Denmark in a little cottage by the sea. We have visited with a few friends and been with my family. Family we didn’t know if Walter would ever see again. Visiting beloved sites again with Walter is better than anything – better than any present I can imagine.

Walter was cleared by the doctors to travel here; and with hand sanitizer, frequent hand washing, a careful screening of who Walter gets close to, he has done exceedingly well. He is gaining weight – he is enjoying eating, he is playing guitar with his sons. He is rested and happy. We all are. I delivered a first draft of my dissertation before I left and have now received feedback from committee members and major advisor. However, I am not touching that thing until after we get back to California for New Year’s Eve for my revisions! This is time to just be. I am doing exactly what I want when I want it. It is glorious!

Part of that has been working on getting Walter’s touring schedule ready for next year! He will start in July in the USA and do select shows and festivals, then go to Europe in November and do a tour there. We should be ready to announce a more full tour schedule early 2015. To work on Walter’s career feels like a gift too. He is looking forward to playing again. I know it is almost overwhelming for him to imagine getting back on stage again. He watches old videos of him playing with Mayall and with his own band; and he imagines what it will feel like to do it again. He practices and gets stronger.

The other night my mom had bought us all tickets to go see a boy’s choir perform Händel’s Messiah with a symphony orchestra and solo singers. It was glorious. Another day, a friend of mine took us on a three hour long tour of a geothermal, trash-to-energy and straw-burning power plant. We learned how this area of Denmark is completely able to provide for its own energy by inventive sources. They actually have an excess of electricity due to all the wind turbines. But other energy sources: Solar, wave technology, trash-burning (completely clean), and geo thermal also contribute greatly. To boot there are no landfills, and no pollution! And combined these sources provide an abundance of cheap and clean energy. So many things are possible when people led by visionary politicians just band together and make it happen by applying new technology and a willingness to invest initially for a huge pay-off down the line for both people and planet.

Other than that we are playing Trivial Pursuit, cooking, eating, visiting, and resting.

Life is such a gift. And we marvel at being alive. Each day we talk about how the love of our community – and the blues community – sustained us and held us during the worst crisis that any of us have ever experienced. How doctor Shafer and other staff at the hospital in Nebraska daily gave us the courage to traverse the crisis we faced. How the donor and his or her family gave Walter the ultimate gift. How we are still able to pay the bills due to the fundraiser that made it all possible.

And presents at Christmas look really silly in comparison. We have had a year of incredible gifts showered on us. A year of incredible torment, pain and hardship framed and put in perspective by the love of community.

From the entire Trout family at Christmas we want to wish you a beautiful holiday season, and a celebratory entry into the New Year. I stand comforted knowing that Walter and I faced many of our worst fears in the past years and managed to walk through them with the loving help of others. It makes me realize that living in fear is not necessary. My New Year’s resolution is:

Plan for the future, live in the moment, and adjust the plans for the future to the present reality as necessary. Appreciate the gifts of community, of love, and of family. Strive to be real. Above all always love excessively!

Merry Christmas!


Posted on November 15, 2014

Posted on November 15, 2014

Marie:

The sound from the other room is that of Walter and the boys playing pool. Just before – they were in the garage jamming. Dylan on drums, Mike and Walter on guitar.  Cream, Hendrix, and old blues tunes flooding my auditory canal! Walter is finding his way – playing with the boys. It is exciting to hear – and to know that each time he gets stronger; working towards reclaiming his strength and his sound. In the process he forges new bonds with our boys. They are gradually building trust that he is going to stick around. It has been such a tough haul for them. For all of us!

I am getting the message; that I need to put down my warrior suit of armor and stop pretending that I know anything. Each time I think I have a plan; God shows up and points me in another direction that I was not prepared for.

Such was the case with my trip to Costa Rica. Two days into the trip I Skype’d Walter. Denial had me not picking up on the fact that something was awry. But as Walter spoke, reality set in: He was once again in the Intensive Care Unit. This time at our local hospital! I set everything aside for the next few days. I wanted to stay close to phone and computer – Walter insisted that I did not come home. But I did not want to go through with Theresa’s and my plans to go to the rain forest and the beach. We cancelled. Instead I booked Walter a flight to Nebraska to get him thoroughly checked out. I talked with various doctors. I emailed There was suspicion that there were abscesses in his liver. Or infection around his bile duct. And this is what had caused yet another bout of infection. UCLA could not admit Walter as rapidly as they could in Omaha. So I got him off to Nebraska from my laptop in Costa Rica!

Vernon stayed with our kids longer than he had planned. Unfortunately this meant that he could not go with his darling Debbie to her mother’s Memorial Service in Iowa. He cancelled his trip there to stay with our boys. We are eternally indebted to him – and to Debbie for toughing it out at a very difficult time without him. We are carried by such love from our community. And I just sit in awe at the kindness that surrounds us. I sometimes wonder where our humanity is going when I read news stories or watch TV, but when I look around me – I feel surrounded with love and kindness every day. It is real. It is there! And I am so thankful!

Arriving in Omaha, the amazing Dr. Shafer, Laurie, and the liver team at the Med Center came through again. They decided on the proper diagnostic tools to see what was going on with Walter. They performed thorough tests and eventually concluded that whatever had caused the infection this time was gone. His liver was perfect. The bile duct and stent were perfect. There was no infection in the blood. Nothing growing. Just a mysterious bout of God-knows-what….

So I stayed at my beautiful friend Theresa’s apartment in Costa Rica, and we worked on our dissertations.  Not the trip I had planned or anticipated – but the trip I got! Theresa offered some great perspective on my work – and I helped her moving hers along. We bookended our stay together with visits at a spa overlooking the rainforest where we got massages and marveled at hawks, butterflies, and amazing views in front of our eyes. And we wrote, we talked, we studied, and wrote some more. It turned out to be perfect once I gave up my expectations of what it should have been!

When I came home Sunday – Walter was in Omaha. I managed to get him back on a plane to California again Tuesday. And since he has been to Physical Therapy, taking the boys around, working again to reclaim his music, and he is markedly stronger than when I left.
This journey post-transplant is something else. The first 6 to 12 months are supposed to be unpredictable. But each time we have a snafu – it seems to go faster – and be less serious. It is a rollercoaster ride nonetheless. So we keep riding! However, my Amazonian suit of armor is proving to be less and less useful. I am considering that maybe I don’t need it anymore. Maybe my new protection is just taking everything as it comes. And moving with it – knowing that no matter what, it is not my plan that ultimately matters!

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