Hello everyone, this is his brother Josh writing on Heathers behalf. I will do my best at this; I am not the writer in the family…that’s Jeremy so I’ll do my best. This has been created to keep everyone informed on Jeremy’s progress without adding additional stress on Heather and the family. As you all can imagine it can get very straining to repeat the story over and over as well as try to update everyone individually. In addition to updates you will also find how you can help on this site as well. The first few days friends and family were amazing at coming together to get the dogs taken care of and we thank everyone; Special shout out to Sunny for everything she has done, and all those in the background that have done things to help and support Heather and our family.
For those of you that have not been in the loop I will start from the beginning. Last Thursday 21 September, sometime in the early morning hours Jeremy suffered a stroke. He was taken by ambulance to Methodist Hospital in Des Moines at approximately 6:45am. Upon arriving they had a CT scan done and determined that it was in fact a stroke and that a blood clot was still present and restricting blood flow to the right side of his brain. The stroke team in DSM made the decision to have him sent via Life Flight to University of Iowa Hospital for surgery to have the clot removed. Life flight was canceled due to weather and by 8:30am he was on his way to Iowa City by Ambulance. Before leaving for Iowa City Jeremy was able to talk and communicate with us and even crack a few jokes with the nurses as they removed his shorts. At this point he had full control of his right side and limited abilities with his left leg; no control of his left arm and the left side of his face was a little drooped causing his speech to be slurred. He arrived in Iowa City at 10am and went directly to surgery. Just before noon we were updated by the surgeon that he was out an in the SNICU (Surgical Neurological Intensive Care Unit). They attempted 3 times to remove the clot with no success. They then put in a stint to open the artery and restored blood flow to his brain. They said only time will tell how his body will respond. Friday was his first full day in the SNICU and was a day of rest and monitoring his neuro and vitals. The CT scans had shown an area of his brain that was either Blood or Contrast, and MRI was done and revealed that it was in fact blood. This was not great news but as long at the bleed was not active it was just something to monitor going forward to see if it would be reabsorbed or if they would need to go in and remove it down the road. Saturday was much the same with the goal being to get him extubated (removal of the breathing and feeding tube). Throughout the day they conducted bi-hourly checks of his progress by shutting off his sedation medication and allowing him to wake up enough to squeeze everyone’s fingers, attempt to open his eyes, and respond to neurological triggers such as pain response, all was still good with him pulling away from the pain and responding like he should. By the end of Saturday they did not like his progress in respiration so they decided to wait until Sunday to etubate. Sunday morning started well with little to no change. Throughout the day he took a little longer to wake up each time and by 5pm he decided to give us a big scare by not responding to anything after his sedation meds were shut off. The neuro team ordered a head CT and after about five hours of stress Heather finally got a good hand squeeze. The CT didn’t show anything to worry about or new. Monday morning was much more positive after a good night. Heather was able to get a good hand squeeze from his right hand again and asked him if he was hot and he shook his head yes and then asked him if the silence was driving him crazy (they wouldn’t allow Heather to leave the TV on for him because they said it would cause him to have delusions and he needs to stay calm and stress free) and again he shook his head yes. Though it is unpleasant to think about at one point he had pulled out his feeding tube and that is a great sign that he is responding to sound and feelings as he should. With that the latest update today is that they want to keep his tubes in another day but he is responding well and attempting to open his eyes and swallow and had a good neuro exam on his left side this morning.
HEATHERS WISHES are to keep this low key and private. Jeremy is a very private guy so we are attempting to keep this off of Facebook and GoFundMe. HOW YOU CAN HELP: Sunny will be setting up and account at Community 1st Credit union in Heather Sharps name. You may go there and make donations to help support them in this time of need. Additionally Kiya Koda Animal Shelter here in town offered to board both of their dogs free of charge! This was very gracious and unexpected so if you are able please check go to their site (link attached) and see how you can donate!
VISITING: As of today (Monday 25 September) he is still in Intensive care so please refrain from visiting. We will update the site when he able to start accepting visitors.
We will try our best to get this site updated as much as possible to keep everyone informed without having to add more phone calls, texts and stress on Heather.