Jack Knoke

First post: Jun 14, 2018 Latest post: Sep 2, 2018
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.

Our son, Jack, is 19 and in really good health normally.  Jack started to get sick last week.  We took him to urgent care on Friday, June 8th, for a strep test because he was complaining of a sore throat and fever.  He tested negative for strep but was given an antibiotic because clearly he didn't feel well.  On Monday, he woke up with a very bad headache and a fever so we took him back to the doctor.  He tested negative for mono.  However, that evening his fever continued to rise so we went to the ER.  After their treatment and many tests, his fever went down and he was conversational with us.  We had stopped short of a spinal tap and as a family made the decision to go home so he could rest.  About 1AM, we checked on him, and he was despondent and losing his motor skills.  We went back to the ER for the spinal tap and ultimately were transferred via ambulance to the Neurology ICU at United Hospital in St. Paul on Monday morning, June 11th.

This whole experience has been terrifying, and Kevin and I have never been more scared.  Jack has an infection in his brain.  They are not sure why this happened and said there is 90% chance we may never know why.  He’s a sick kid and it’s life threatening, but he’s holding his own.  He had a very high fever which they now have had under control for about 24 hours with medication and a machine that essentially cools his blood.  He’s on a breathing machine and is sedated

Since the doctors don’t know what caused this, he is being treated for bacterial, viral and autoimmune concerns.  They suspect it’s not bacterial, which is good since that is the hardest to treat, but they haven’t backed off the treatment quite yet.  The good news in all of this is that he responded better today to the neurological tests than he did yesterday which is a positive sign for brain activity.  We keep his room very quiet and dark so that his brain can heal.  We have received excellent care, and we’ve been assured that they are treating everything possible so at this time we sit by his bed and wait for his body to fight this.  They have said this will likely take weeks rather than days and progress should be measured in hours.

They are running a lot more tests on Thursday, June 14th, to look to see if they can find any further cause or damage.  We thank everyone for your kind words and thoughts.  We especially thank our families for being here with us.  Please keep the prayers coming.  We are receiving excellent care here but look to a higher power to give us all strength.  Jack is strong and a fighter.  We know he will do all he can to beat this.

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