Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated on Jeff”s condition all in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Jeff developed complicatiions from a procedure that he had at an ER in Leavenworth on 9/24/17. We went back to the same ER during the afternoon on 9/26/17. By the time I had parked and was allowed into his room, the ER doctor was coming into the room. The ER doctor said that Jeff had a tear in his esophagus, along with fluid and air in his mediastinum, left thoracic cavity and his peritoneal cavity and that he had sepsis. His next statement was that Jeff was GRAVELY ILL and he was in contact with St. Luke’s on the Plaza to transfer Jeff there.
Jeff was transported by ambulance with lights and sirens going to the Plaza and was admitted through the ER. Once there he was evaluated by the ER doctors and a battery of tests were done. Jeff was then transferred to the the CVICU in the Heart Institute where a Cardio Thoracic urgeon had been called in to evaluate his condition. She explained the gravity of both situations - the tear and the sepsis and explained how gravely ill Jeff was. The surgeon was going to try and repair he esophagus and open up his abodemn and leftside to clean out the infection and if he was stable enough insert a feeding tube in his abdodmen. He went into surgery that night, 9/26 at 9:45 PM for what was to be a 4-6 hour surgery. At 1:50 AM she came to tell us that Jeff had made it through surgery and was stable, She could not find the tear to repair it due to inflammation and swelling, She cleaned the (sepsis) infection in his abdomen, and left thoracic cavity and inserted the feeding tube. She explained that now the roller coaster would begin. Jeff could appear to get better and then tank. There could be many more surgeries ahead and several types of rehab.
He was sedated and intubated on 9/27/17 all day. However, we received the good news that the esophageal repair was scheduled for 9/28 in the morning. His mom and I both thought “oh good, he must be stable enough for the procedure”. On my way to the hospital on 9/28, the surgeon called me and said she had canceled the repair procedure due to some things she had seen on his machines. Basically, they thought that Jeff might be having a heart attack. “GREAT -just what he needed.” More tests were done. Luckily it was not a heart attack. The pericardium had become inflamed from the inflammation and irritation of the mediastinum. So that was good news. Oh I forgot to mention he has approximately 8-10 drainage tubes in him to drain out all of the infection, along with a catheter, a ventilator, and a drainage tube down his nose pulling gunk from his esophagus.
The esophageal repair procedure took place on 9/29, but when the surgeon was looking around in the esophagus once again she couldn’t find the tear. She did, however, find an area that she called “roughed up” and she believed it was where the tear had been and it had started healing on its own. GREAT NEWS!! If he had still had the tear a stint would have been placed and this would have required more surgery at a later date to remove the stint.
Jeff continued to make small steady improvements daily until Thursday, 10/5 when the CVICU nurse called at 1:38 PM and said that his BP was low. They were giving him medicine to bring it up and running tests to figure out why it was low. I was driving to the hospital when I got a call at 3:42 PM from the CVICU Physician’s Assistant asking me to give consent for surgery, because they had discovered a bleed around Jeff’s liver and he was complaining of abdominal pain. I was only 15 minutes away, but I gave my verbal consent, because as they were just waiting for an OR to open up and they were taking him in. So emergency surgery #2.
I got to the parking garage, exited my car at a dead run, ran up the stairs and to his room. Luckily for me he was still there and awake, but yet confused due to increased Potassium levels. During this surgery they removed a liter of blood, some clots and some infection sludge, but could not find the source of the bleed. They lightly closed him and sent him back to the ICU intubated and sedated. He was going back into surgery the following morning at 8:00 AM. Overnight he was give a blood transfusion. SiGH!!!
10/6 - surgery #4. No blood or clots in his abdomen just more infection sludge. Still could not find the source of the bleed, but he was not bleeding any more. So he was completely closed up and sent back to the ICU, intubated and this time on dialysis. The dialysis had been discussed off and on for several days and actually since the first procedure was completed.
10/8 - Day 13 in the CVICU. Jeff is awake without a ventilator for the first time since Thursday 10/5. He is alert and can talk to me. I can see him pretty blue eyes. Still on dialysis, still filled with lots and lots of tubes putting stuff in and taking stuff out. So the roller coaster continue as his surgeon said. However, today is a good day!!!
It was his nurse, Holly, who has been with him for the last two days that suggested I use this site to keep people informed of his condition. The nurses, doctors, staff at St. Luke’s on the Plaza have been awesome. I truly believe his primary Cardio Thoracic surgeon saved his life. She is amazing. God was with her and all of the staff in the operating room that first night.
If anyone who reads this has any questions that might have anything to do with legal ramifications from the very first procedure, I am asking that you DO NOT ask them here in this forum. As this a public site. Please respect our wishes on this as you never know what a mistated comment could do.