Local pizzeria owner donates $10,000 to help man in need of hypertension implant

Published: Jul. 28, 2015 at 9:29 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2015 at 7:19 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As Tommy Taylor continues to seek help in raising money for his critical implant replacement, one local business owner has offered a helping hand.

Joseph Walker, the Midlands franchise owner of Marco's Pizza, pledged $10,000 on Tuesday to help the Gilbert man.

"This is a gift," Walker said. "It's a gift we've been given the opportunity to give Mr. Taylor and we hope to help him satisfy the requirement."

The donation will help Taylor pay to replace an experimental device that helps reduce his hypertension. CVRx, the company who makes the device, told Taylor he could get the device replaced. However, they said the device would have to be replaced at his own expense. The surgery is scheduled for August 20, but if payment is not made, the procedure will not happen.

Mobile users, tap here to see photos of Taylor's life.

Taylor cannot work because of his condition. Medicare will not cover it because the device is considered experimental and is not officially FDA approved. Taylor says he has exhausted all of his options including taking out a second mortgage on his home and using up his savings.

Initially, the cost to replace the device was over $400,000. However, the company reduced the price to just over $100,000 and it all must be paid in full and in advance by Taylor.

Walker is also an Army veteran who is all too familiar with being at the brink of death and relying on faith.

"After seeing his story, I was impressed by his faith in the face of great adversity. And I know what that feels like having been through combat, having been through war, having lost loved ones. I understand what faith in the face of adversity is. And I'm impressed by it," said Walker. "The opportunities I've been given and we as a team have been given, through Marco's Pizza and what we've done here, would be all for naught if we didn't look back on our neighbors and do for them as we would have them do for us."

Walker and his team are hoping customers will contribute at any of the eight Marco's Pizza locations in the Midlands he owns.

"[It's] 100 percent optional," said Marco's Pizza Marketing Director Andrew Reed. "There's no pressure whatsoever to do so. We just encourage them to take a look at Mr. Taylor's story, hopefully have sympathy toward he and his family."

Marco's Pizza is also holding a donation campaign to help Taylor from August 3-8. Walker says his stores will match the customer donations up to the amount needed.

"This is something we want to do out of generosity. It's not a sales driver, it's an act of kindness for a neighbor," said Walker.

Additionally, if you have a donation separate from the Marco's Pizza campaign, you can make checks payable to:

Mike Kelly Law Group
Trust Account
P.O. Box 8113
Columbia, SC 29202

Copyright 2015 WIS. All rights reserved.