Kerry Kirking

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As many know, the Kirking Family moved back to Spokane at the end of May with the goal of spending quality time as a family, and particularly letting Evie get to spend time with her grandparents and vice versa.  Knowing time was limited due to Judy's advancing Alzheimer's, the decision to move was made earlier than initially planned. As a family, we are grateful to be back in our home community with the support of friends and family. Unfortunately, the process of getting settled in to our new home together was sidetracked when in late July Kerry was unexpectedly diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. After Kerry's initial round of chemo, a follow up bone marrow biopsy showed no evidence of blood cancer, which was welcome and surprising news.  Because of the aggressiveness of Kerry's particular type of AML, the decision was made at the urging of his oncologist to continue chemo treatments in order to ensure any microscopic cancer cells were destroyed and the AML pushed into a full remission.  The two rounds of chemo left Kerry weak and needing to rebuild strength--and in and out of the hospital. The first week of November a modified protocol was started with the notion it would be tolerated better and potentially be a monthly treatment to address the AML almost as a chronic disease. Despite having maintained extraordinarily careful precautions, the whole family was hit with RSV during the week Kerry's blood counts were in recovery mode from his modified chemo.  Judy first contracted and was treated for pneumonia from RSV. She is still recovering, but significantly improved.  Kerry was initially treated prophylactically because of the contagiousness of the virus, his physical proximity to Judy, and his compromised immune system. Though he had developed a cough, his chest x-ray came back clear. Two different antibiotics were continued as a precaution. On Friday, December 3, Kerry's heart rate and temperature spiked, he developed clear delirium, and the decision to call the paramedics was made immediately.

Kerry was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane and initially admitted for some fluids and a "tune up" to help him fight off the virus.  By the time he was evaluated in the ER, his chest x-ray did show pneumonia for which it was initially thought he would receive supportive care until he was strong enough to come home. It became evident early on that this was going to be a far bigger battle than initially thought. 

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