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Tip: Click "journal" under Mom's photo to see all posts.
For context, here is the original post (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maryjbucher/journal/view/id/56d5c376ac7ee9b91dbc1279
) describing why Mom wound up in the hospital:
After a couple of weeks of puzzling symptoms (loss of appetite, confusion, and transient pain), we agreed it was time for Mom to go to the Mt Nittany Medical Centre (our hospital in State College).
Originally, we were going to wait until Monday morning to have Mom’s GP admit her directly (and hopefully provide the essential historical context), but by 7pm, my sister Jenny called Phil and said she just felt it was best to get her in ASAP. Phil took her to the ER around 8pm.
By the time I (Nathaniel) arrived at 9, they had the results from the first CT scan, and the admitting Doctor arrived to report the results. The look in his eye said I needed to pay attention: He said that she had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurism, and needed emergency surgery.
The surgeon they paged had hoped that they'd be able to do a procedure through a catheter, but the aneurism was too close the arteries feeding the kidneys, so they had to resort to an open abdomen surgery. He was very frank with us, and said that the mortality rate for this procedure was 80%.
By this point, Darren was driving Jenny back to State College, and they were in a race against the clock to give her a chance to give her a hug and make our peace with mom's likely passing. Brothers Brad and Rich called in to do the same, Grace Lutheran's Pastor Lynne came and prayed with us, Phil's sister Liz lead us in Amazing Grace. Randy & Sally Bucher, Catie and Sarah & Matt Landro also came to share their love and goodbyes. Mom was the most peaceful person in the room the whole time. She inspired all of us.
Jenny did arrive in time to give her a hug before her surgery, and the gathered family began the waiting game. We were told the procedure could take 2-6 hours. This was around 2am. The time in that room with everyone was very special. It is just so valuable to have so many devoted family members (across the country) in a time of crisis, the words fail.
By 4am an RN came out to give us the good news that the procedure was a success, and they were closing. The surgeon came out soon after and shared his own surprise at how well mom did. In one of the riskiest procedures imaginable, there was not a single complication. It was a leap day miracle.