Hello, everyone. On December 13th, my stepson and I took Jack to the hospital for elective outpatient surgery. All went fine until he was ready to be taken to recovery. Suddenly he suffered cardiac arrest! Aggressive measures resuscitated him, and he was transferred immediately to Critical Care (CCU). Jack has been on life support ever since.
Many measures have been used to keep his vital organs from failing. His kidneys have failed, however, so dialysis at bedside has been used almost every day. Discomfort with the breathing tube in his throat has required heavy sedation most of the time. Jack continues to have individual nursing care 24/7, and is seen on rounds by several physician specialists daily.
A breakthrough occurred January 5th, when his condition was stable enough to allow a tracheotomy - replacing that air tube and still allowing assisted breathing with the ventillator. Sedation can now be reduced most of the time also. Right away we could see that our Jack is still there. He turns his eyes to look at us -- not just his head toward the sound of our voices -- and does things he has not been able to do in 24 days: close his mouth, lick his lips, and SMILE when we make a bit of a wisecrack!
Jack cannot have visitors except for family, and we have all pulled together in his interest and in support of each other. He's in a very fragile condition in many ways. All staff, from physicians to food workers, are wonderful people, with a passion for taking exceptional care of the patient first and close family right there next. We are never ignored, put off or left out. We are always informed , consulted, and asked about Jack's wishes. This engenders a strong bond, and a great feeling of trust that's invaluable.
Some of you have known about this event already. To those of you who have had a thought, sent a wish, said a prayer, made a call, brought a gift of food, I say "Thank you!" It has been a gift of caring, and good medicine for me. I will enter brief updates here often, because I know so many of you are eager for the news.