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Hello everyone this is John Austin, Lisa's husband, and in order to keep all of Lisa's family and friends updated about her status I'm starting this CaringBridge page for her. Just to reiterate CaringBridge is a free service so you do not have to pay to receive updates but donations are appreciated. Because not all of Lisa's friends are aware of what has transpired I will give a brief history of what transpired and then all updates will begin with the entry date. For those who are up to date about what's transpired just skip ahead to the most recent entry.
HISTORY: Lisa has been suffering from a persistent cough for several months. She's seen her doctor and received numerous treatments but the cough continued. Within the last couple of weeks in addition to the cough she was starting to suffer from a shortness of breath. She was convinced by a phlebotomist at Richmond Kaiser to go the emergency room on Monday 10/15/18. Lisa was seen in emergency and they quickly determined that her oxygen saturation in her blood was very low. They began oxygen, O2, treatment and drew blood to try and identify the cause of the low O2 saturation.
As soon as a bed became available, Lisa was transferred into Richmond Kaiser Intensive Care Unit, ICU. Lisa stayed in ICU while a number of procedures were done. All of the test results came back negative for infection by virus or bacteria or fungus. Lisa did not have pneumonia. The test did show that Lisa had fluid/blood in her lungs. Without knowing what the exact cause of the irritation, doctors started to treat the lungs with intravenous immunoglobin (IV-IG) to treat a possible auto-immune attack, steroids to reduce the inflammation and the removal of a suspect prescription blood thinner. None of the treatments seemed to have any effect. Meanwhile Lisa's oxygen treatments had to increase in order to maintain her level of 02 saturation in her blood.
By the following Monday, 10/22/18, Lisa's O2 saturation could not be kept high enough and Lisa & I agreed that she should be sedated and a breathing tube inserted to help maintain her O2 level. The medical team at Kaiser recognized that they did not have the equipment to help Lisa, so they reached out UCSF Medical Center and Stanford. UCSF did not have room but Stanford did and Lisa was transported via helicopter to Stanford Medical Center.
The equipment that Stanford had was a machine called ECMO, which stands for Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a treatment that uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a very ill baby. This system provides heart-lung bypass support outside of the baby's body.
Lisa underwent the procedure and was admitted into Stanford's ICU, she has been her since Monday 10/22/18. The Stanford team has duplicated all of the tests that the Richmond Kaiser team did with the same results.
UPDATE 10/27/18 Lisa is still heavily sedated and receiving around the clock pain medication. Her siblings have come from as far away as Texas to help and sit by her bedside. The discussion at this time is what would be the best treatment to stop the damage to her lungs from increasing. There is a treatment called Cytoxin which is the equivalent of the nuclear bomb of immune suppression drugs. The medical team is holding off because of the dangerous side effects but may deliver the drug as early as next Monday.