Bruce Swenson

First post: Mar 11, 2020 Latest post: Mar 19, 2020
Bruce was admitted to Regions hospital on February 13, 2020. He had been experiencing symptoms of what was initially suspected to be a sinus infection - trouble swallowing, hoarse voice, hearing loss and head pressure. He had also lost an extreme amount of weight because he was unable to eat. 

Once admitted, a scope of his throat showed that his left vocal cord was paralyzed.  A swallow study was ordered, and showed that his esophageal muscles were not coordinating for swallowing. Due to the risk of aspiration due to lack of swallowing, a feeding tube was placed for nutrition. A few weeks into his journey, he was diagnosed with pneumonia from aspiration to his lungs and his oxygen level plummeted. He was transferred to ICU where he was intubated for four days. As intubation is not a long term option and carries a risk of infection, and aspiration was/is still a very real possibility, a tracheostomy was performed to aid in breathing. 

Once transferred back to progressive care, a new neurologist was brought on to his case. A more in depth MRI of his brain was performed, and swelling to his cranial nerves was apparent. A lumbar puncture was done to analyze spinal fluid, and results showed there are cells present that would explain his symptoms. Initial results were inconclusive as to what type of cells were present, but oncology determined the cells found in his spinal fluid are consistent with the cells in his teratoma tumor that he has been treated for over the last 6 years. While initially the tumor was benign, the cells have now become cancerous and are causing swelling on his cranial nerves.  The treatment options presented are very invasive (even on a stable patient) and are not promised to be successful.

We have made the difficult decision to transfer Bruce to Comfort Care. We ask for your prayers during this very difficult time. We feel all of the love and prayers being sent to us and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. 

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