As many of you know, my mom, Judy Howell, has suffered from Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy Syndrome (RSD), for about ten years ago. RSD is a rare chronic pain disorder that wreaks havoc on the nervous system of the body. It developed after a knee replacement surgery. Since that time, her health has continued to decline, which has included problems physically and mentally (with dementia, at times). In December of 2015, it was discovered that the mitral valve in her heart was no longer opening and closing to pump blood. As such, blood backflows into the lungs, produces fluid on the lungs, and interferes with oxygen getting to all the places it needs to go. Unfortunately, due to the RSD, mom was not a candidate for heart surgery. From February until late June, the fluid was drained off the lungs through a pleural catheter.
While this approach prolonged her life, the constant and invasive draining of fluid took a physical and mental toll on her and in June, she decided to cease this treatment. On June 22nd, fluid was drained off of her lungs for the last time and doctors removed the catheter on June 23rd. Hospice admitted her for home care at that time.
We are grateful to so many people for caring so much, but as you can imagine, this is an overwhelming time for us. We're doing our best to keep people updated, but I will post any updates here for the time being. Thank you for your concern. We feel grateful and truly surrounded by love.