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Oct 25, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 3, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Shared by Judy: Last Wednesday, Oct. 17th, Jim was struggling to breathe after climbing 2 flights of stairs to his apartment in Watford City, ND (where he works with Minnesota LTD pipeline.) He collapsed, and laid there for some time until found by a friend and coworker. Although Jim didn't immediately go to a hospital that night, within a few hours his condition worsened & he was admitted to the local hospital. He was assessed and found to be in atrial fibrillation, and a decision was made to airlift him to Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, ND. Jim arrived @ Sanford early on Thursday where further treatment, testing and EKG was done. His wife Kathy was able to get there from Crosby by early afternoon, and they had been talking when things took a turn for the worse that evening. Jim was going to use the bathroom, but his breathing worsened and he collapsed, hitting his head, ultimately coding & suffering cardiac arrest. CPR was done for approx. 15 minutes to start his heart again. With cardiac arrest & resulting CPR, adequate blood flow and oxygen are not getting to the brain during that time. Jim was then intubated and placed on a ventilator (in a medical coma) to support his heart and lung function. Jim's body was placed in Therapeutic Hypothermia after his cardiac arrest, which uses a cooling device to lower your body temperature to 33 degree Celcius for an approx 24 hour period. This treatment is used to reduce brain damage and increase the chances that you will wake up. The process is very slow and measured and after the initial 24-hour cooling, Jim was very slowly brought back to normal temperature ranges by Sunday evening. At this time, Jim remains intubated and in a medical coma, although the plan is to slowly dial back the sedatives, at which time further cognitive testing can be done to assess his brain function. During his hospitalization, he has had several ups and downs, with adjustments to blood pressure and heart rate medications, insulin support (commonly needed during this type of situation), and antibiotics to fight infections (pneumonia and sepsis), and lots of IV drips to manage his care and provide nourishment for his body. His kidney output has improved with good output now, but his liver is still being assessed, along with other organs, and a bronchoscope today revealed a fungal infection in his lungs which is now being treated as well. Today is 1 week, and Jim is fighting very hard to come back to his family, but he has very complicated medical picture. His heart ejection fraction is 20%, and although that can be supported with medication, a lot needs to stabilize with everything else that is going on medically. We are praying that steps to assess brain function will be able to be done soon, but that is another slow process, with heart & other organ functions being evaluated constantly as they make calculated decisions and take steps to dial back the sedation slowly. We ask for your prayers for Jim and Kathy and their family during this time. Jim is in the fight of his life, and has a long road ahead. Cards can be sent to Jim in care of Judy Steinke, 24185 Black Lake Access Rd., Deerwood MN 56444. Hopefully soon Kathy can share your well wishes with Jim. *Donations made on this site support the CaringBridge's wonderful mission.