This was posted the morning of Thursday, March 3. [Day 6]
Jerry is currently in the ICU at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
He is being treated for several very severe conditions. He has double pneumonia, viral infection, Covid, multi-organ failure, renal (kidney) failure, heart stress, sepsis (severe infection in the blood stream), and several other ailments related to multiple conditions impacting his body.
He is currently on multiple life-supporting machines, including an intubated ventilator, and virtually every device to help his body and organs, while it fights.
The doctors are trying to determine what virus or bacteria is causing the infections throughout his body, so that they can find the appropriate antibiotics to treat.
The backstory to how we ended up in Albuquerque.
Jerry retired from the US Postal Service in October 2021. In mid-November he and Terri left North Dakota (escaping the winter!) to embark on a fun vacation travel adventure South. They traveled through Denver and visited Kayde, and continued-on to New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona. They spent their time visiting friends and family, and doing all of the tourist things.
They had been in Tucson, Arizona visiting Lani (his sister) and her husband Gerald. They enjoyed the Tucson rodeo. After Tucson they had planned to slowly make their drive back to North Dakota (waiting on the cold/snowy weather in North Dakota to pass before returning there). They were driving through New Mexico, from Arizona on their way over to Texas, and eventually make their way back to North Dakota, before stopping off in New Mexico for a rest day.
Jerry had been feeling sick off and on since December/January, and thought it was just a cold. On the afternoon of Sunday, February 20th they decided to go south to Alamogordo, NM and stay with Terri’s sister for a few days to get rest. From Sunday and all through the week, he was very sick in bed not eating or drinking.
Finally on Friday, February 25th Jerry went to the Emergency Room in Alamogordo (4 hours south of Albuquerque). He was basically walking death at this point. At that time, he was diagnosed with Pneumonia in both lungs, was put on BiPAP ventilator for oxygen (levels were very low), acute respiratory distress (irregular heartbeat), severe kidney failure due to dehydration, and sepsis. Two tests came up negative for COVID.
The ER called Kayde (Jerry’s daughter) to decide the next steps in his care. An ICU hospital bed was found in Albuquerque, and it was decided to air-flight (helicopter) him there. He arrived at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, NM around 10:00 p.m. Kayde and her husband Brad drove from Denver, arriving about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26. Jared (Jerry’s son) arrived mid-day on Saturday.
At the time of arrival at the ICU in Albuquerque / Rio Rancho, the second of two COVID tests produced a positive result. Due to this positive COVID test result he is allowed NO visitors.
During flight and upon arrival his oxygen levels and blood pressure levels were very-very low, life-threateningly low. The staff at Rust made immediate changes to his ventilator and put him on heavy levels of two different blood pressure regulating medications. White blood cell count (WBC) was at 39.3, and reached as high as 47 by Saturday – an indication of a severe infection. His potassium levels reached 6.5 (major concern for his heart), along with several other toxins in his body. To remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood, he was initially put on hemodialysis (twice in 2 days).
Jerry continues to be treated and monitored around the clock at the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center ICU. On Monday he was switched to Continuous Rental Replacement Therapy (CRRT) – which runs for several days. The nurses are continuing to monitor all vitals, administer multiple antibiotics, make adjustments to the ventilators, and run multiple medications for heart and blood pressure. He’s heavily sedated to assist with keeping him as “comfortable” as possible while he fights hard for his life.
Jared and Kayde are both staying at a hotel nearby the hotel in Albuquerque. They’ve been getting updates multiple types a day, and are video calling (FaceTime) each evening to see and speak with Jerry.
We will post updates here as we learn more from his amazing staff of healthcare service providers. ❤️🩹