On Friday, March 23rd, Merrilee Harrington, our wife, mother, sister, and grandma, went to the emergency room with what we thought was a bad back and a reaction to pain medication. Unfortunately, we were given the tragic news that she had a blood infection that has damaged her heart and caused multiple strokes. On Monday, March 26th, she was taken by helicopter to the cardiovascular ICU at UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA, where she received care from a strong team of infectious disease, heart and neurology specialists with the goal of controlling her infection and stabilizing her for valve replacement surgery. Although her surgery was originally scheduled for April 9th, her cardiovascular surgeon made the decision to postpone the procedure until she regained some strength. On April 14th, she was moved into LECOM Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation. The excellent team of physical, occupational and speech therapists at LECOM has been working closely with Merrilee on a rigorous rehab program, and she's been making some great progress in her first week.
Merrilee is the strongest, most selfless and loving person we know, and she means so much to so many. Beyond her role as the matriarch of our family, she has given so much of herself to others through her work in the Presbyterian Church and at Chautauqua Institution. We know there are many of you who have been touched by Merrilee's kindness that are concerned and want to help. We've created this site to keep everyone informed about her condition and progress. While Merrilee isn't ready for visitors quite yet, we will make sure to post an update here as soon as she is. We soon plan to set up a calendar where friends can sign up for a visit or to help out in other ways. For those of you that want to contribute financially, we have also established a GoFundMe fundraising site at https://www.gofundme.com/merrileeharrington.
Please share this page with anyone whose lives have been touched by Merrilee over the years. We are a large loving community and together with thoughts, prayers and support we will fight for her life.
With gratitude and love,
Don, Christine, Anna, Andrew, Garry, Nikko and Greta