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Jill (Stott) Pennington
7/9/2016 Latest post:
Hi, Everyone! We so appreciate the outpouring of warm wishes and support for Mom during this time. It’s been difficult to keep up with the requests for information so here’s your one-stop shop for updates!
-Amy & Jen
How we got here:
Jill had been feeling increasingly fatigued this spring without a clear diagnosis of what was wrong. She was finally admitted to the hospital on May 21st and it was determined that she had an unusual form of strep (viridans group streptococci) that attacks the heart valves. While waiting for antibiotics to clear up the infection before operating to repair her valves, her condition deteriorated rapidly and she was rushed to emergency open-heart surgery on Friday, May 27th. The surgeon replaced two valves and repaired one. During the operation, Jill had a series of strokes and she was comatose following surgery. She woke a number of days later with both physical and cognitive deficits as a result of the strokes in addition to the after effects of her heart problems and surgery.
Where we are now:
She has difficulty understanding and processing language and has clear short-term memory issues. She has some paralysis on her right side and limited use of that arm however, she can walk with help. She is unable to swallow and is being fed through a g-tube in her abdomen. We are fairly certain that she is now recognizing family members and are grateful for that. She was unable to speak at all in the beginning but has recently been trying to form words. She has a few we can understand (hi, wow,yeah) but is unable to communicate her needs effectively or consistently.
As of 7/2/16, Jill is in the hospital (Baptist Health in Louisville) recovering from an unfortunate combination of pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, and a drug reaction – all at the same time! – which happened last week after she was transferred to a rehab facility two weeks ago. She is on the mend and we hope to have her back in rehab (a different facility this time) early in the week.
She has made a lot of progress in the last month but has so very much more to go. It is possible to see glimmers of “Jill-ness” from time to time, including moments of humor, appreciation for music, and even appropriate eye-rolling (the most Jill-trait of them all.) :) The doctors have said that most rapid recovery occurs within 4-6 months after a stroke and that by then we should have a clearer picture of what the future holds. So we remain hopeful that she will continue to improve.
When she moves back to rehab we will update you with the facility’s name and address. She is unable to read or understand your cards and letters but seems to enjoy looking at them. :) So feel free to send them to her home address if you like or just leave a note here. The address is 2525 Ridgewood Ave. Louisville, KY 40217. We encourage you to forward her CaringBridge link to anyone who would be interested.