John Houser

First post: Nov 20, 2020 Latest post: Dec 1, 2020
John  (dad) has had a history of lung infection issues stemming from a severe bout of pneumonia and subsequent surgery about 8 years ago.  He has since been susceptible to bronchitis and chest infections with his most recent case in May of 2020.  He spent much of the summer and early Fall on and off antibiotic therapy.  At the end of October, having recently completed another round of antibiotics, he began to again cough and struggle to breathe.  

On November 2, his PCP sent him to St. Francis hospital for oxygen and IV antibiotics, where it was determined that he now had Covid-19.  This was a surprise to all of us given his lack of fever or other symptoms, but he was quickly whisked away to the pre-Covid floor.

My dad was admitted to St. Francis and was given Dexamethasone for the treatment of his pneumonia and given oxygen through a nasal cannula (and later, Airvo).  Unfortunately, due to previous underlying issues with his kidneys, liver and heart, he was not considered a candidate for Remdesivir.   Despite receiving convalescent plasma, his breathing progressively got worse and there were on/off issues with his kidney function and we were concerned he would have to start dialysis.

On November 9, he was moved from Airvo to BiPap, which made him very agitated and he struggled to adapt, causing a cascade of problems.  We were warned that a ventilator would be likely.  On the morning of November 10th, we were called by his new doctor, who happened to be someone we personally know.  She discussed the plan with us and with him, with the consolation that the ventilator would help him rest and heal.   It was extremely comforting to have him under the care of this doctor and for us to know that he saw a "friendly face" before going under.  She passed along that he gave her a high five and said "let's beat this."

After being ventilated on November 10, we have experienced both progress and set backs including infection/fever, blood pressure adjustments, agitation  - it is quite the roller coaster.  However, as his doctor described...this will not be turning a corner; this will be baby steps up and over a big hill.  Thankfully, he seems to be making baby steps!  Slowly his dependence on oxygen is being reduced and the tricky part is trying to slowly wake him up without him getting too agitated so that he can be weaned off the vent - and that is where we are today.  

The nursing staff at St. Francis has been amazing and have allowed Mom, Julie and I to Zoom call with my dad multiple times.  Though he is sedated, we are hopeful that he can hear our voices and feel comfort knowing we are here and waiting for him to wake up.  We've been assuring him that he is on the road to recovery and to never give up fighting, while also telling him to make sure he does what the nurses and doctors tell him (we all know John can be a little stubborn!) :)

We hope this site will help keep everyone updated; it can be very difficult to know who we have told what!  Mom, Julie and I cannot thank everyone enough for the prayers and well-wishes.  We sure do know that my dad is loved big.   "Let's Beat This."


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