Carl's family decided to start a Caring Bridge page to have a common place where everyone can go to learn about how Carl is doing and to leave messages for him. We'll read his messages to him each day!!
As many of you know Carl had surgery on his back February 23rd. He had strict orders to not put any weight on his leg for a minimum of 2 weeks. He had a walker to help him hop on the right leg! Those of you who know Carl know that we had our hands full getting him to follow those rules. He was caught on more than one occasion coming down the hallway without the walker!!
Carl was doing pretty good, although he had a sore chest that we attributed to the way he would lift and place the walker. Using muscles in a different way. Well, Wednesday night (Thursday morning), he woke Penny up and said he was cold. It took a little convincing, but Penny got him in the car and brought him to the emergency room. At the time they said he had pneumonia and perhaps a blood clot.
By Thursday late afternoon, we learned that he actually had blown a myocardial micro valve in his heart. The valve has three flaps, and one flap was missing. This allowed blood to flow back into his lungs. The surgeon in Duluth was not comfortable doing this surgery, so the decision was made to send him via Life Flight to Fairview University Hospital in the cities where they have some of the best surgeons in the world.
By 5:30 Life Flight was at his door getting him ready for the flight down. We went home and waited for a phone call to say he had arrived. After about an hour we hadn't heard anything, so we called and learned that Life Flight got called away for a serious accident and they were waiting for another pilot to arrive. That happened and he got to the cities before 10:00 that evening.
They stabilized him and prepared for surgery first thing Friday morning. Surgery lasted a very long time (7 hours) and the doctors said it went well. They said he was in critical condition, and that his body had been through significant trauma, but that they felt he would make a full recovery.
Currently Carl is on a ventilator and bypass that helps him breath and keep his blood flowing. He is sedated. He has a nurse in his room 24/7, and Penny has been with him during the day when their visiting hours allow. No one else is allowed to visit. (It's not one person a day, it's ONE PERSON period!)
The ventilator/bypass will give his body time to heal. The plan is to start reducing his sedation and eventually ween him from the machines and see how he does. They may start some of that gradually today, although initially they thought they would start mid week.
They are confident he will make a full recovery. It will be a long haul. Many weeks in the hospital and then a number of months doing rehab to regain his strength. He would LOVE to hear from all of you, so please leave a post.
We will update the site as we learn more! Thanks for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers!