Kathleen McNamara Kathleen McNamara

First post: Feb 20, 2017 Latest post: Sep 20, 2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.   Here is the short version: 

As many of you may know, eight years ago Kathleen had a shunt placed her brain after 10 years of undiagnosed sever headaches.  Kathleen was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (pressure and excess fluid on the brain) and Pseudo Tumor.

On Friday morning,  Kathleen was experiencing extreme pain and drainage from her right ear.   Kathleen was seen at Urgent Care and was diagnosed with Acute Swimmers Ear/infection.  She was given antibiotics and drops and sent home.  Kathleen called her mother for a ride to the Emergency Department around 3:30 Friday afternoon siting  a severe headache.  Kathleen's health rapidly declined over several hours.   Kathleen was given painkillers around 8pm.  Following the Dilaudid, Kathleen became unresponsive.  A breathing tube was inserted to help preserve her airway. A  MRI showed infection in and around the shunt.

Kathleen was  diagnosed with Acute Bacterial Meningitis and has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at St. Joesph's Hospital in St. Paul.  The neurosurgeon removed her shunt on Saturday night and inserted two external drains.  She remains in a induced coma and a ventilator continues to breath for her.   Kathleen has a whole team of doctors working on finding more answers. (Neurosurgeon, Neurologist, Cardiologist, Intensivist, Hospitalist, Infectious Disease (meningitis),  and Respiratory Care.  

Kathleen is in very Critical Condition.  Baring any new developments, goal number one for Kathleen is to start to heal from this massive infection. She has many other hurtles to climb including: keeping external drains free and running,  slowly backing off sedation medications, weaning off the ventilator and breathing on her own, and eventually replacing her shunt.  Kathleen is expected to be a guest of St. Joesph's for 3-4 weeks at least.  She is currently not entertaining visitors as she is fighting this infection in her body.  Updates to follow!

Thank you to all those praying and sending good vibes!

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