Hi, I am Julie, Jill's sister. This is what has happened.
On Monday, July 23rd, Jill and Steve (her husband) had supper. Everything was a typical work week evening. Jill often goes out to the garden after supper and the two dogs, Blaze and Thor, go with her. It was starting to get dark and Blaze came back to the house alone. Steve said something didn't seem right so he went out to the garden to find her. When he got there, she was lying on the ground. He called 911 and my parents. She was transported to Mercy Hospital.
When she arrived they stabilized her and examined her. It appeared to be a brain aneurysm and they said she wasn't going to make it. I got the call shortly after midnight. We all went to the hospital. The next few hours are fuzzy now as I write this. They put in a breathing tube and had to sedate her to do that. Around 4 in the morning we all went home except for mom (Janet) to get a little rest. Until the drug they used to put the tube in wore off, there was nothing to do. More tests were to be run at 6 am and results around 8 am.
Megan (daughter) and Jake (Megan's fiancee) and Brett (son) and Elle (Brett's girlfriend) were all back there around 7 am. Jill had opened her eyes and also tried to grab the breathing tube. She also slightly squeezed Brett's and Megan's hand. She was only responsive for a few moments. We had some hope!
The neurologist look at her initial scan and the one done at 6 am. There was no additional bleeding. They wanted to transport her to Abbott Northwestern so that she could have surgery to prevent it from bleeding again. Over the next few hours there were more tests to determine the status of her heart and lungs and also determine if she needed a drain tube put in her head.
Her heart was pumping at 30% each beat which means it was doing only about half of normal. This is not life threatening even though it sounds bad. It was due to the shock to her body. It was enough to allow for transport and surgery. They also determined that she did not need the drain tube. She was airlifted to Abbott some where around noon. We all went home got a little bit of rest as the transport, setting her up in ICU and evaluating her again for surgery was going to take a few hours.
My parents and I got down to Abbott about 4:15 pm. Stacie (Steve's sister) had gotten there shortly before us. Initially they told her it would be a couple hours until surgery but just after we arrived, the nurse said it was moved and would be in 45 minutes. Steve, Jake and Megan arrived shortly after us. We met with Dr. Wallace about 5:30 pm. He explained everything about the aneurysm and the surgery to us.
The procedure was to go in through a vein by the hip and snake a catheter up to the aneurysm location. The blood clots on this endovascular coiling and prevents it from rupturing again. If the coiling would stay in place, there would be no need for a stent. After the surgery, we found out that she needed 3 stents. The aneurysm is located on the carotid artery at the junction of the artery that caries the blood to the back side of your head (Posterior auricular artery, I think) so a stent was needed for each artery. Also the shape of the aneurysm made it necessary for the stents. The aneurysm is only 2 mm and the smallest Dr. Wallace had ever done.
As of last night she was stable and critical. Dr Wallace said to pace ourselves and rest. Over the next couple of days she won't know if we are there. We should rest and she needs rest. She will be in the Neurological ICU for 2 to 3 weeks. This will be a long road of recovery. The size of the aneurysm and the outcome have no relationship so what will happen can not be estimated or generalized. Your prayers are what we need most right now. Thank God she is still here with us.