Jeff has always been a naturally healthy and strong athlete even as he developed his "dad bod" over the past 10+ years. Then Jeff fell suddenly and extremely ill in December 2019 due to the failing of his liver. This experience was obviously scary as his health deteriorated, but what came as a huge surprise was the fact that liver disease causes unintentional anorexia because the body cannot absorb nutrients.
In a matter of a couple of months, Jeff lost approximately 60 lbs and all his muscle mass. He came within about a week of losing his life but was fortunate to be provided a life-saving transplant on January 9, 2020. This first year post transplant has been as challenging as one could expect, both mentally and physically. Covid added another layer of trouble as Jeff is extremely immunocompromised due to the medications he takes to avoid organ rejection. The pain, fear and isolation caused challenges with depression and anxiety.
When Jeff was finally given the approval to start to exercise, he had no idea how to even begin. The fear of injury was high, and frankly, even a brisk walk wore him out. When this challenge came up, Jeff's wife, Jamie, and some amazing neighbors convinced him to join a team together.
Jeff was not comfortable joining group classes, but wanted to carefully begin to lift weights to bring his strength back without injury. He began personal training sessions with Austin twice a week while biking on the off days. That, combined with the nutrition counseling from Matt, has Jeff feeling the best he has in years - both mentally and physically. He is a long way from being as strong as he wants to be, but he recognizes that the road back to health is a marathon, not a sprint.
Fuse is more than just a gym. The personal attention to our individual needs related to nutrition and proper lifting techniques are immensely important. But the Fuse Family helped Jeff and his family even further during his recovery. While in the hospital, recovering post-tranplant, Fuse put on a charity bootcamp to raise money to help with Jeff's hospital bills. It raised more than money though, it raised our spirits and our hopes for improvement. Jeff is excited to continue his health journey with Austin, Matt and the rest of the Fuse Family. We may even get him to a group class yet!
For more about Jeff's journey, visit his caringbridge page at https://caringbridge.org/visit/jeffdrugg. (Jamie's too superstitious to take it down)