Jan 18, 2020 Latest post:
Nov 22, 2020
Welcome to Kevin's CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Kevin and I (Karen) sincerely appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement! Please know that no donations to caring bridge are necessary if you are asked. This is a way that they support their site, but we are not charged anything.
Kevin has severe acute pancreatitis, which has progressed to necrotizing pancreatitis. It started suddenly last Sunday morning (1/12/20) with severe abdominal pain. He was admitted to CGH in Sterling, where they found that something (most likely high triglycerides and elevated blood sugars) had caused the digestive enzymes in the pancreas to start activating inside the pancreas instead of in the small intestine. Those enzymes then started to digest the pancreatic tissue instead, then move into the abdominal area digesting tissue and causing excessive inflammation. The pain of this is likened to labor pain. When someone is diagnosed with pancreatitis, in about 75% of cases it will resolve within 3 days without complications. In Kevin's case, he was in the 25% that progress to severe acute pancreatitis. This showed itself early when Kevin started having some respiratory and kidney failure. Kevin was moved to the critical care unit early on at CGH, mostly because his breathing needed to be supported. Days 2,3 and 4 were tough, with constant pain and the concern over his breathing and kidney function. A repeat CT scan was done on Wednesday and it showed that half of Kevin's pancreatic tissue was necrosed (dead) from the enzyme attack. This development changed the plan of action and put him in a much smaller category of cases that progress to this stage. He is fighting infection as evidenced by constant fevers and a high white blood cell count, but the details on where the infection is are not yet clear. The good news at this point though, is that the rest of his body started healing. The kidney failure, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory failure all started to resolve. Kidney function and blood gases were in the normal range on Thursday (day 5), which means that he is in a much better place to fight whatever might be coming with the pancreas.
Thursday, his doctors decided that because there are some serious potential complications with his necrotic pancreas, he would be better served at a larger hospital that can do procedures that CGH could not. The transfer was scheduled to University of Wisconsin-Madison hospital, but they did not have any beds; instead they transferred him to Unity Point Meriter in Madison, which is in the same system as UW Madison and only a few minutes from the university hospital. This would ensure that if Kevin's case became urgent, transfer would be very simple to UW Madison. We arrived at Unity Point Meriter Thursday night and have settled in. There is no plan of action yet, as they are doing more testing today (Friday 1/17/20). Kevin is still disoriented and in a lot of pain, but it is being controlled and he is being made as comfortable as possible. I will update this page as anything develops, so everyone that wants to know can see it easily.
Your support and love for Kevin has been overwhelming, I can't thank you enough!