Nov 30, 2016 Latest post:
Feb 12, 2017
Al received a liver transplant in 1988 after he developed an autoimmune disorder that destroyed his liver. He began heavy anti-rejection medication then and has continued it over the course of the last 28 years. This medication has caused many issues to his body, including destroying his kidneys. He was put on dialysis in 2006 and his wife donated a kidney in 2007 and due to infection that kidney stopped working in 2009. In 2010 he received another kidney from his daughter and that is still functional at this point. During the early 90's the decision was made to remove Al's colon. An illeostomy bag was put in. Al has had countless surgeries along the way... heart attacks-quadruple bypass, internal bleeds, broken hips, pneumonia, blood clots. Recently Al has been feeling really bad and the dr's have been trying to pinpoint major weight loss and pain over the last three months. He was in U of M for a week and released on Thanksgiving Day after determining he had a virus and his body was just not able to fight it off after taking medication to suppress his immunity (so his body doesn't fight the kidney / liver transplants). They also noted a hernia near the site of his ileostomy, this was concerning but he was too risky to operate on. The weekend at home made him more weak and he was taken to Crittenton ER on Saturday, they found an infection in his body along with a perforated bowel. His entire stomach was infected. He was transported to U of M and on Monday morning and he was given two choices. 1. Go home with hospice and have a few days to a week to live. 2. Surgery to repair a perforated bowel and remove the infected skin - with a 10-15% survival rate and a very long road to recovery that could result in loss of the kidney and many other life threatening issues. Al was resound in his decision to move forward with the surgery. The whole Szydlowski clan took over the waiting room during the 5 hour wait....then we were finally called back to debrief with the doctor. 1st news.... he made it through surgery and then we were told that they cleaned 90% of the infection and removed a cannonball size piece of his stomach skin so he is left with a hole right now. They also removed the illeostomy. Doctor was more optimistic about the first surgery, but Al has a very long uphill climb over the next few weeks. Prayers please!!!!! Many of you are calling and messaging, it's hard to get to everyone. We will keep this page updated - please refer here for updates, we will keep them coming. Al is the strongest man in the world and is adored by his family!