First of all...Kirsten, Lindsey and Mike would like to thank everyone's heartfelt display of love and affection to our family. All your prayers, messages, photos, flowers and positive thoughts are helping Aaron survive
UCSD medical staff has been wonderful, with both their science and love in treating Aaron. The strain of Meningococcal disease that Aaron contracted was uniquely devastating. It spread rapidly through his bloodstream and severely affected his organs, tissues and vascular system. Had his suite mates not gotten Aaron to the ER, or had the doctors not treated him as quickly/aggressively as they did, the outcome would have certainly been fatal.
Antibiotics have since eradicated the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria, however Aaron's body is valiantly fighting to recover from the destructive effects of the toxins, severe sepsis (blood infection) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). We learned early on that this strain of meningitis caused Aaron's vascular system to both clot and bleed uncontrollably. Paradoxically, while some tissues were hemorrhaging, clots were being formed in other blood vessels, cutting off critical blood supply. Without blood supply, organs and tissue cannot survive. Aaron's doctors heroically used various medications, surgeries and procedures to restore vascular flow to his arms and legs. Unfortunately the clotting in his feet was too severe and inaccessible (micro capillaries). Tragically the tissue, muscle and nerves in his feet became irreversibly necrotic. Yesterday Aaron's feet were amputated to save his lower legs and to reduce the risk of further infection.
While we all wish Aaron a swift and directly forward recovery, the course of healing sometimes requires unfortunate steps backward. Yesterday's procedure was non-elective. It was essential to his survival and functional recovery. Aaron can currently breathe on his own, however remains on ventilator for the next week to enable doctors to better manage his sedation and pain medications. His kidneys have recovered fully, his blood chemistry is returning to normal, and his neurological responses are awakening. Aaron faces a series of surgeries over the coming weeks to close fasciotomies, repair tissue/skin njuries, and complete the amputations.
While the journey ahead will be challenging, Aaron's team of doctors, specialists and nurses advise that Aaron youth, fitness, personality and fighting spirit are invaluable assets in his fight to conquer this nasty disease.
Please continue to your prayers and best wishes for Aaron.
Mike & Kirsten