John Otterson

First post: May 23, 2019 Latest post: Jun 8, 2019
Hello family, friends and those who love our dad, Otter.  

Thank you for visiting our site and for your prayers and hopeful thoughts.  Many know our dad; he makes friends with everyone he meets from his college days at UMD, teaching and coaching for over 30 years in Monticello, cribbage tournaments at the Senior Center, coffee at Coborns, or his many trips to the VFW.  He loves so many people, and we are glad you came to visit.

Our dad was admitted to St. Cloud Hospital on April 29 when he was having trouble breathing.  As many of you know, our dad has struggled with complications from Lupus for a long time.  He has been in the hospital before, so this wasn't overly alarming.  Dad is unique and he stumps doctors left and right, but he usually bounces back relatively quickly. Judy has been by his side as he has had countless tests and doctors. Our mom is so strong--she’s by his side constantly advocating for his health and speaking up for him when the doctors and nurses need reminders.  He spent time in St. Cloud and seemed to improve when his oxygen was holding steady, so he was sent home to Monticello Hospital on a swing bed for physical and respiratory therapy to get stronger. He was thrilled to have Swedish Meatballs and cherry cobbler and many visitors.  Unfortunately, he just wasn’t improving and needed to be sent back to St. Cloud on Monday. His oxygen level and strength steadily declined yesterday (May 22) and more tests were needed quickly to understand why his oxygen level was declining and not improving on its own. The lung doctor wanted to do a biopsy of the lung to take another look at what might be causing his breathing issues.

He went into this routine procedure--one he actually underwent successfully two weeks ago--to take a biopsy of his lung tissue.  The doctors prepared with many tests thinking he was healthy enough and ready to undergo this procedure. Unfortunately, due to his Lupus and other health complications, nothing is ever easy for our dad.  

While the lung doctor was taking the tissue from his lung, bleeding started that they couldn’t control.  The doctor was shocked as this hadn’t ever happened in his 30 years of completing this procedure. Dad’s lungs were punctured and oxygen filled the space outside of his lungs.  This build up of pressure caused his lungs to collapse while bleeding also continued. He had many units of blood as well as CPR for 12 minutes. We are thankful that they never lost his pulse.  Luckily, St. Cloud hospital has developed a CPR “blanket” of sorts that gives perfect compressions and for this, we are grateful.

Dad is currently heavily sedated in a “coma” state.  After the trauma to his body, the doctors cooled his body to lessen swelling and promote healing.  He will be in this state until midnight tonight (May 23). Once the cooling process completes, they will begin slowly warming his body which could take up to 16 hours.  This warming process is a critical, scary time when we don’t know what will happen. It could take up to 7 days for dad to “wake up” and we pray that he does. Please pray for him and for Judy.  Pray that he will come out of this. We will continue to play his favorite music (“Mellow Folk” Radio on Amazon Music, Celtic, and the Cranberries) and share with him the kind words you all send.

He will fight like a stubborn Swede, as always.  We love you, pops.