Jan 16, 2019 Latest post:
Jan 19, 2019
Gerry West began having heart problems in 2018. In October, he had a pacemaker placed. At that time, a blockage was discovered and, although stent surgery failed, ballooning reduced the blockage from 90 percent to 40-50 percent. Since that time, he has been in poor health, suffering shortness of breath, fatigue, fevers and chest pain. On Dec. 31, his doctor sent him to the emergency room because of his low oxygen level, and he was transferred to Cox Hospital in Springfield. His condition continued to worsen until he was moved to the medical ICU and placed on a ventilator on Sunday, Jan. 6. He has been diagnosed with pneumonia, blood clots in his leg and lungs, congestive heart failure, fatty liver and endocarditis. Attempts to remove him from the ventilator - spontaneous breathing trials - have failed. He gets extremely agitated and breathes too quickly. His medical team has changed his sedation, but he continues to struggle with agitation when not heavily sedated, and he can’t come off the ventilator while on heavy sedation. His pacemaker likely caused the endocarditis, but he is not stable enough to have it removed and to have his aorta repaired. He will likely require a tracheostomy after about two weeks on the ventilator. Follow journal entries for updates as they are available.