David Hartley, Jr.

First post: Mar 17, 2021 Latest post: Mar 22, 2021
Friends and Family of David,

David is afflicted with Idopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).  IPF is a rare and terminal illness of the respiratory system.  It is often hereditary, which is likely in this case as David’s father suffered and passed away from this horrible disease.  Scar tissue forms in the lungs and begins an irreversible decline in lung function.  David found out just over a year ago that he has IPF.  He did not share this information with anyone (other than his wife Gina) because he was sure that the disease would not begin to impact him so severely this quickly.  David and Gina made sure that David’s life was normal, and that his friends and family didn’t approach David as a victim of IPF.  A couple of months ago, while enjoying a vacation with his family on the west coast of Florida during a red tide event, David suffered a lung infection of some sort likely brought on by the red tide bacteria.  Despite multiple rounds of steroids and antibiotics, David’s ability to breathe on his own became tougher and tougher as a result of the impact of this infection together with his underlying IPF condition. 

Early Sunday morning (March 14) David checked himself into IU North hospital to get a breather treatment.  Unfortunately the IPF had already progressed at a very rapid pace, and by Monday morning (March 15), David was in ICU, by Monday night he needed to be placed on a ventilator and he was transported to IU Methodist hospital.  Since that time, David has been sedated and he is not able to respond to your many texts, calls and messages of encouragement.  By Tuesday morning (March 16) the ventilator was no longer sufficient to keep David alive and it became necessary to place him on an ECMO machine.  ECMO stands for extracorpreal membrane oxygenation.  The ECMO machine is similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery.  It pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. 

David had a heart test earlier today (Wednesday), and it confirmed that his heart is strong and healthy.  Of course, we all knew that his heart was strong since his heart made of gold and is unlike any other! 

The doctors have confirmed that at this point, David’s only option is a double lung transplant.  IU Methodist hospital is the best place possible for this procedure.  The best doctors are here and they are currently evaluating him for a transplant.  While there is more testing to be done, all signs to date point to David being a good candidate for a full lung transplant.  We are very fortunate that we are connected with Paul, a recent lung transplant success story and local resident.  Paul is an amazing and generous guy who has spent substantial time with Gina, Shaun (David's brother) and close friends sharing his success story of his transplant that took place this winter in the exact same hospital with these doctors.  Nate Feltman has joined Gina in being with David each day in his hospital room and he has been instrumental in helping make sure that David is getting the best care possible. 

The doctors have started to ween David off of the medication that has kept him sedated while on the ventilator.  David is starting to regain consciousness and understand that he is well on his way to getting a new set of lungs.  To keep this positive momentum and David's motivation going strong, we want David to hear from all of his family and friends.  Please send brief messages and/or photographs to welovedave@nntg.com (mailto:welovedave@nntg.com).  Your messages and photos will be consolidated into a slide show for David to view on his iPad.  We will also print photos to keep in David's hospital room so that he is always surrounded by his friends and family and many positive memories.  David is a strong fighter and we know that he will do everything it takes to make the lung transplant successful.  He has to fight as he is #HartleyStrong.  A one of kind.  Nate and Gina (who are the only visitors allowed to see David in person) will make sure he knows how much is he loved, how much he is needed and that all of you are cheering him on.  Please join together with the #HartleyStrong group in sending your messages to welovedave@nntg.com (mailto:welovedave@nntg.com), and in sending your continued prayers and positive vibes. 

We apologize that David's family can’t keep directly in touch with each of you with real-time updates and ask that you please check back here on CaringBridge for updates on David's conditions.  Should there be anything at all that we need to help Gina and the kids, we will post requests here as well.  Thanks for all of your kind words of encouragement, love and support.


#welovedave and #davelovesallofyou


The Hartley Family