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3/9/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope, encouragement, and prayers. Thank you for visit.
As you all know, our mom's medical history began years ago. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer on July 3, 2003. She began chemo treatments and on September 23, 2003 her kidney's failed, beginning her dialysis treatments. The last 13 years have been a journey with many joys and challenges. Through it all, her faith remained strong and she put up a good fight through every obstacle she faced. Going through all of her health issues has given her empathy and a mission to encourage other people facing health challenges.
On Monday, February 27, Dad took her to the ER in Sioux City because she wasn't feeling well. They started her on antibiotics and began doing several tests to figure out what was going on in her body. By Wednesday they determined it was most likely an infection in her heart valve. They feel the infection most likely came from the foot that she had surgery on a year ago. She was hospitalized last October with the same type of infection in her foot and that is when they removed the pin. Although she had several weeks of antibiotics, they feel the infection never fully went away. On Thursday, March 2, the cardiologist did an echocardiogram and it was confirmed that one of her heart valves had an infection (endocarditis and mitral valve regurgitation). The infection perforated the heart valve which allowed small embolisms to travel through her body. A small embolism went to her brain, causing a mild stroke to the right side of her body. Thankfully it did not affect her speech or mind. The doctors changed her antibiotics to more specifically treat the infection. The cardiologist told us the antibiotics would not fix the perforation in her heart and said her only option would be open heart surgery to replace the valve. During the surgery, they also planned to repair another valve that had a small tear in it. Mom had an angiogram done on Friday in preparation for surgery and they found no significant blockages which was a huge blessing. Mom has continued to do dialysis treatment and has had several ups and downs through each day. On Monday, the cardiologists in Sioux City informed us that they would be transferring her to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha as they felt she needed a higher level of care. In Omaha, she has four teams (cardiology, nephrology, infectious disease, and surgery) overseeing her care. They continue to be in communication with each other to develop the best plan for mom's care. Due to her many health conditions, it is a complicated decision to make. Thankfully, the entire family has been able to take the week off of work so we can support mom and make these decisions together. We are seeing many doctors throughout the day and getting a lot of information. After talking with the cardiologist last night, the plan is to continue on antibiotics and hope that mom can gain some strength. She has had little to no appetite making it difficult for her to eat and she is very weak from being in bed for the past nine days. Physical therapy began working with her but she has little strength to do anything.
At this time, we covet prayers on her behalf for strength and that she does not have another stroke. We will do our best to continue updating this page and keeping everyone informed.