Reached by phone Friday, Robb said he went to the cardiologist in October after feeling unwell for a couple of weeks. He said the cardiologist told him one of the valves in his heart needs to be immediately repaired or replaced, which will require surgery.
“I’ve been doing a lot of praying about it,” Robb said. “Just focusing on the good, thinking about how much better it’s going to be when [the surgery] is done.”
Robb’s friends launched a GoFundMe on Friday to help Robb pay for the costly procedure — estimated to cost upwards of $200,000 — and help him bounce back after what will likely be a long recovery during which he won’t be able to work. The fundraiser raised $1,390 toward its $300,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.
“There are a lot of people in the world who need help. There are not as many who have spent their entire life in the service of helping others,” Robb’s friend Laura Leister wrote on the fundraising page. “Frank Robb, with his humble, grateful, gracious, kind, respectful and funny disposition, needs help.”
But paying for the surgery — he said he has no medical insurance — is only one of his concerns.
Since his diagnosis, Robb said he’s struggled to find a surgeon to treat him. He said surgeons are hesitant to operate on him because he had chest surgery as a child, making him a high-risk patient. He’s also been told his tall and thin build makes him more difficult to operate on.
He said he’s been in contact with surgeons in Illinois, Florida and North Carolina.
Awww hopefully he can get the help he needs!