Helen Meengs

First post: Aug 13, 2017 Latest post: Aug 23, 2017
On Thursday, August 10th, 2017 my sweet mother went into the hospital for a routine knee replacement.  She had been suffering from many months from the effects of advanced arthritis and was looking forward to getting back to the active life style that her and my Dad had enjoyed for many years.  My Mother did great immediately after surgery and was excited about getting up and moving the next day.  Unfortunately, rather than improving from there, she only continued to lose ground.  Initially her problems were blamed on pain medications and over sedation, however, it eventually became clear that there was a very serious problem with Mom's lungs and her breathing.  By Saturday evening she was having significant respiratory distress and a chest x-ray showed a very abnormal right lung.  She was immediately moved to the ICU and a bronchoscopy was performed and Mom was placed on a ventilator.  During this process she vomited a large amount of stomach contents and this flooded her lungs with acid from the stomach.  From here she rapidly deteriorated.  By Sunday morning her condition had become extremely critical and she was on multiple antibiotics (to fighting infection), blood pressure medications (to keep her blood pressure up) and sedation.  Despite this she was having trouble keeping her blood pressure up and the ventilator was. not able to oxygenate her lungs despite giving her maximal oxygen.  
After consultation with the ICU doctors in Petoskey, it was decided that Mom's only real chance for survival was to transfer to a tertiary care center where more advanced and aggressive treatment may be possible.  We are especially hoping that she could be considered for ECMO which is temporary heart/lung bypass to allow her lungs to heal.  She was therefore airlifted to the University of Michigan (one of the largest ECMO centers in the country) for further treatment.  Although this is really a long shot we are hoping that this will carry here through this illness and allow her to spend more time with all those who love her here on earth. We are hoping and praying for a miracle!  

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