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Jan 24, 2018 Latest post:
Feb 12, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support, prayers, and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. On Thursday, January 18, Dad suffered a heart attack, presumably as he was walking to his car from a casino in Kansas City, Kansas. We don't know how long he was down, but eventually someone (who happened to be a nurse) noticed him and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. Around 4pm, he was taken to KU Medical Center, Cardiac ICU, Room 912. Although they were able to restart his heart, he was not breathing on his own, so they put him on a ventilator. They also discovered that all of his major arteries are blocked and it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. He was heavily sedated while they induced mild hypothermia in the hopes of protecting his brain and body from the lack of oxygen he experienced for the unknown amount of time he was down. John was notified by the hospital on Friday morning. They had difficulty locating Dad's information and found John's number from Dad's cell phone. John notified me. John made it to the hospital before me since I had to drive from Wichita. Dad was unconscious due to the sedatives given for both the chill pads and the breathing tube. They started to rewarm his body Friday night and it was wait and see. By Saturday afternoon, his body temperature was back to normal and they began reducing some of the sedatives. Quentin and Ethan drove from Wichita to be with their grandpa. Linda was able to come up and visit Dad for most of the afternoon. Glenda was here, too, and helped us request a priest so that Dad could receive the anointing of the sick sacrament. Saturday afternoon he opened his eyes and seemed responsive to us when we spoke to him. Saturday overnight his heart began to beat very rapidly, but they were able to bring it back into a regular rhythm with medication. They also continued with the sedation due to the breathing tube. On Sunday he continued to open his eyes when we spoke to him, lifted his right arm, moved his feet when asked, and seemed to be a bit more responsive than the day before. They did a breathing test to see if he could maintain breathing on his own, which he did for four hours that morning. I had to leave Sunday evening to go back to Wichita. John reported that Monday was a good day. They had lowered his sedation levels. He was more alert, opening his eyes, was able to maintain his own breathing again for four hours, and he was also able to squeeze John's hand with his right hand. They also did a CT scan to see if he injured his head from any fall he may have experienced on the day of his heart attack. The CT looked fine. When I returned on Tuesday morning (today), they were getting ready to take Dad for an MRI to check for possible brain damage from any lack of oxygen he may have experienced. He opened his eyes and squeezed my hand when I spoke to him, but you can tell he is still on the sedation medication. They have not removed the breathing tube, but he was breathing on his own for most of the morning and early afternoon. When they took him for the MRI, they had to disconnect his medication lines for the 90 minutes he was out of his room. When he returned from the procedure, he began having a rapid and irregular heart rhythm and low blood pressure due to being off the medication that had been controlling it up to this point. They had to shock his heart back into a regular rhythm. As this was happening, the preliminary results from the MRI came back. It shows that Dad had a "tiny" stroke. A neurologist is supposed to come by this evening or in the morning to explain more. It has been a very emotional 6 days for all of us. Dad turned 80 last month, but he was still getting around on his own two legs, walking his dog, getting out and about with Glenda for New Years, going to church, getting his coffee at McDonalds, and making trips to the casino. He was able to celebrate Christmas Day with all 4 of his grandkids, which I know Dad was grateful to all of them for making the trip so we could all be together.