Jim Mrnak | CaringBridge

Jim Mrnak

First post: Dec 13, 2017 Latest post: Jul 13, 2018
Thanks for following along and keep our Dad in your thoughts and prayers!  Dad had a sore back the last week of November that he brushed off as just a sore back from life and work. On Thursday 11/30 it was worse so they decided they’d go to the dr the next day.  That night however, he fell and couldn’t feel his legs and barely his arms. After an ambulance to the hospital, a cat scan, several MRIs then he was transferred to another hospital. Dad had spinal surgery to remove abscess infections from MSSA staph. Turns out he had it throughout his blood stream and also in the lumbar and psoas region of his spine. He had some pins and rods put into his spine. He’s had drains put into his psoas and neck area (where surgery was) to keep the infection draining. He also had the lumbar region drained, but they didn’t leave it in there. Dad will probably never be able to move his legs again because the infection was inside the spinal cord cutting off blood supply for too long. Also, Dad’s spinal canal and neck were so narrow and degenerated. There is hope for his arms and upper body in the future and with extensive rehab. He’s been on dialysis off and on for failing kidneys, so it will do the work for his kidneys while his body heals. He is on a ventilator to ease his lungs, and after 10 days on it it’s been decided that he will get a tracheostomy on Thursday, Dec 12. Dad’s white blood cell count is starting to go down gradually, so we are hoping the infection is going away. His blood cultures are finally coming back negative for staph, but it is still in his spine. Dad will be on IV antibiotics for 8-12 weeks to clear this infection.  

      On December 29th Dad was transferred to LifeCare hospital in Pewaukee WI for vent weaning.  He was weaned off the ventilator with a few rough days mixed in. He was back eating solid food and talking, then on Wednesday February 7th he had a very scary day! All of a sudden his heart rate was acting sporadic and he coded in the afternoon.  The team was able to give him CPR and bring him back quickly. He was rushed to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. It was determined that was a large amount of fluid around Dad's heart and lungs causing this. Early the next morning, Dad coded again and the team was quick and got Dad back in less than 2 minutes.  Dr said Dad needed a temporary pacemaker. He got that and the fluid was drained off his chest.  Dad's lungs also collapsed during all of this process because of all the fluid.  They filled back up with air as soon as the fluid was gone.  The next day, they decided the pacemaker was working overtime so he needed a real one.  Ever since, his heart has been working great and the pacemaker hasn't needed to kick in. He also did get a chest tube to keep the fluid out until they determined what was causing it, and the chest tube was taken out. Dad has been receiving a variety of breathing treatments since that have been working great. He is almost weaned off the ventilator again as of 2/23/18.  He is waiting for a bed up on the 5th floor to finish his vent weaning and hopefully start solid food and will be able to talk again while he waits to finally start spinal rehabilitation! He has been getting some physical, occupational, and speech therapy through this all. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers!




Several people have asked if we've set up a gofundme to help with travel and moving expenses, and everything else until disability kicks in.  You can click on "ways to help" on this page or go directly to this link if you'd like. Thank you for your support! //www.gofundme.com/4unzw88




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