Erin Curtis

First post: 9/10/2016 Latest post: 1/6/2017
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On Wednesday 8-24-16, Mom went to the ED at Cambridge Medical Center with chest pains. She was told she had had multiple heart attacks, and they sent her by ambulance to Abbot Northwestern for further evaluation. She was admitted to the heart unit on the 5th floor awaiting an angiogram.
Thursday 8-25-16, she had her angiogram, and it showed 100 % blockage, 90% blockage, 95% blockage and a 45% blockage in her arteries. We were told she would need a triple bypass open heart surgery - scheduled for Tuesday 8-30-16.
In the days between the diagnosis and surgery, mom had many visitors and she enjoyed the company of family and friends.
Tuesday 8-30-16 - Mom was very calm and prepared for surgery. She was positive and reassured her family she'd be back soon. 
She went in for surgery at Noon that day. Family and friends waited patiently for any news. Finally at around 5 PM family was notified that one bypass was successful, but, they couldn't find veins for the other 2. They had searched for almost two hours, but, they found mom had very small veins, and fragile veins and tissues in her body. Because of this, they had to use a machine called"ECMO" ( Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Machine) to help her heart and lungs.

She continued to be in a medically induce coma, as things would be critical for the night.
Around 3 am on 8-31-16 her body started swelling very badly and she was rushed back to the OR to clean a large amount of clotting on the outside of her chest wall. They found that it was from and insignificant vessel in her chest wall that had been seeping, and her heart and lungs were just fine. She went back to ICU to recover further.
9-1-16 - they went in and did an angiogram, and were going to place a stent. Family was told they had successfully placed not one but, three stents!! Best news since the whole ordeal started. That same evening, around 6 PM they took her to the OR to removed the ECMO machine. Serious complications followed, and we were told that she was bleeding out from her femoral artery and they were doing all they could to save her while attempting to bypass that artery. We were told that they were able to use a man made mesh artery to bypass the femoral artery, and she needed to be back on ECMO as her lungs were very saturated from all the blood and fluid used to save her from bleeding out.  She was in the OR for 10 hours that night. Back to ICU with no visitors for hours
9-2-16 They put mom on dialysis to help relieve the fluid as she only has one kidney, it was working well, but, they didn't feel that it could continue to keep up -  it came as a surprise to all of us and the doctors, as later that day she was nodding her head in response to to Angie's questions.
9-3-16 ECMO came out successfully with out complication.
9-4-16 Overall a good day, but, she did have a slight temperature, and they started an antibiotic as preventative measure as they do worry about pneumonia and infection in the site where the mesh was put.
9-5-16  Nurses strike started today, but, we are happy with the level of care mom is receiving still. In the upcoming days they are starting to lower her sedation and try to remove her breathing tube. 
9-6-16 Tube still in, they did successfully remove her central line and put a PICC line. Started her on medication to help calm her as she was fighting against the tube, which we are told is normal for someone who has been intubated as long as she has been {at this point it was one week}
9-7-16 No changes today, still working on calming and trying to remove the breathing tube.
9-8-16 Today the doctors were contemplating the benefits and risks of doing a tracheotomy, as she is fighting very hard against the tube, to the point where they had to put her in a paralyzed state. Her blood pressure, heart rate and breathing were very high as she was very unhappy about the tube, and not being able to communicate. She also had a mucus plug blocking her tube and blood clots in her lungs as well.
9-9-16  After lowering sedation again today, mom opened her eyes, was calm, following commands, was squeezing hands.



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