Yesterday morning, Mom found Dad unresponsive in the shower. He was rushed to Mercy hospital and diagnosed with an aortic dissection. Initially, both Madison and Iowa City refused to take him as they did not think he’d survive the transfer via ambulance and they couldn’t land the medflight due to weather. Iowa City decided to take a chance and he was rushed to UIHC. After meeting with the surgeon, he explained to us that he wouldn’t usually attempt surgery on someone as critical as dad but due to his age and how healthy he was, he thought he would give it a try. He also explained to us his lactate level was around a 7 which indicated his organs were not receiving enough oxygen and could be failing. Dad, however, fought through the surgery and is currently continuing to fight. We met with the surgeon following the surgery who explained that he repaired the aortic dissection but did not feel dad could handle a aortic valve replacement and instead repaired it the best he could. He felt confident with the repair but made it clear that he exhausted all surgical options and it was now up to dad’s body to start healing. Following surgery, they noticed his lungs were not working due to the fluid build up so he is on ECMO to oxidize his blood and allow for his lungs to dry out and he was having difficulty clotting which they thought was due to his liver malfunctioning.
To this point, it’s a miracle he has made it this far. We have had a lot of things go our way, starting with the quick EMS response in Hazel Green and even quicker diagnosis at Mercy. He had two great surgeons and a wonderful staff here at University of Iowa hospital.