Dixie Swanson

First post: Dec 9, 2016 Latest post: Dec 8, 2017

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Today mom was admitted to NIMC emergency room with complaints of shortness of breath, thinking she was suffering from the flu.  Unfortunately she was suffering from a severe case of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to a double lung pneumonia.  Mom came in with critically low blood oxygen - 50%.  This number should be 95%.  They had to sedate her and intubate her to help her breathe and give her oxygen.  Unfortunately this was not working as they hoped and it was necessary to transfer her to Condell Hospital in Libertyville, IL.  She arrived by Flight for Life and was admitted to their ICU here.  They have a program here specifically for ARDS.  She was placed on a machine  that gives her extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) - it is a form of a partial cardiopulmonary bypass.  This machine is providing her oxygen without relying on the respirator alone.  Apparently the respirator causes trauma and inflammation to the lungs when it is forcing air and oxygen in the lungs.  With the ECMO she is able to get the oxygen while allowing the lungs to rest. 

This has been very unexpected and we are still trying to comprehend this turn of events.  Thank you all so very much for all your prayers.  Let me outline how we have already seen God at work.

1.  We are so thankful for Dr. Daniel Nepumuceno at NIMC who was astute enough to refer her on to a facility with the means to care for her properly. 
2.  We are so thankful that mom made the transfer from McHenry to Libertyville without complication.
3.  We are so thankful for the team that greeted us at Condell - they are extremely empathetic and they are very enthusiastic about this program here. 
4. We are so thankful for Dr. Elliot Cohen at Condell - he is the head of this program here and he said quite frankly that had she not been transferred here she would have died.  I felt that was the case but to hear that was quite surreal.  
5.  We are so thankful for Dr. Cohen - he is here on his day off to oversee mom's transition onto the machine.  It was successful!!
5. Dr. Cohen said her odds are greatly improved due to the speed of transfer here - so we are so thankful for the technology and the ability to fly a critical patient to the needed care in a timely manner.

We are here for several days, it could be weeks, but God willing it will be days.   I will send updates as I get them.  Please feel free to leave messages on this site and ask questions.  Traci, Dad or I will be checking this often and keep you updated.

If you'd like more information on this program you can go to www.advocatehealth.com/condell-ECMO

Thank you for your prayers,


When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
In God, whose work I praise,
In God I trust;
I will not be afraid.   Psalm 56:3-4

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