Kathy Wood

First post: Jun 19, 2018 Latest post: Jun 23, 2018
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Mid-September Kathy went to the hospital thinking she was having a pancreatic attack.  The labs showed that her liver enzymes were elevated.  She seen a GI specialist  at Mayo,  in Eau Claire.  After a full work up she was diagnosed with cirrhosis.  They continued further testing to try to find the cause.

December she started having complications of shortness of breath and fluid retention.  The fluid in her belly was a sign of liver failure that her body wasn’t compensating anymore.  This expedited a referral to see a liver specialist at Mayo in Rochester.

January she was first seen in Rochester, where she was diagnosed with stage 4 uncompensated liver cirrhosis.  More labs and a biopsy were completed to detect the cause.  Sadly there were no answers.  There was no signs of hepatitis, autoimmune, infection, fatty liver, alcoholism or genetic causes.  We have questioned genetics many times because her brother and mother both died of liver complications within the last couple years.  Since no cause was found they diagnosed it as cryptogenic cirrhosis.  Cryptogenic means no known cause, which makes it hard to treat.  She was placed on a low sodium, high protein diet and medications to help keep the fluid down.  Talk of a transplant then started and they continued to do follow up labs to monitor the progression.

May we transferred her care to the  University of Minnesota, because we wanted her to be closer to her support system. 

June she was first seen by the hepatologist at U of M.   She has started the liver transplant evaluation.  She met the transplant team, attended transplant classes, and again a lot more testing to ensure she will be a candidate for a liver transplant.  So far all of her testing looks good.  However, signs of liver failure  continue to rise.

June 16 Jerry tried to wake her up and she was not coherent.  She was taken by ambulance to Wabasha ER where she spent the entire day.  She was diagnosed with encephalopathy.  It is caused when ammonia levels are high and it causes brain disfunction.  When she arrived she was unresponsive, but late afternoon she was coming around.  Later that evening she was transported  to the University of Minnesota hospital, where she continues to be.   They are trying to decrease the symptoms of encephalopathy so she can come home.  She had a really good day yesterday and she was alert and walking around.  Today she was slower to process her thoughts.  They are closely monitoring her and the plan is to have her stay in Prescott when she gets released.