Michael Beck

First post: May 11, 2019 Latest post: Sep 25, 2019

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Please excuse any errors I make in the medical details.  My brain is a bit like soup at this point.

On Sunday night, May 5, after playing hockey Michael suffered a cardiac arrest. Thanks to several people at the rink, chest compressions were given immediately and until the paramedics arrived. He was taken to Eastside Medical Center in Snellville, GA. Emergency surgery was performed to remove a blockage and install two stents. A catheter was left in which left two balloons pumping at his heart, to take some of the strain from the organ.

Michael went into ICU that night, in very critical condition.   Michael had a respirator/ventilator breathing for him, and was in a medically induced coma. After a very long first night, his blood pressure stabilized.  He remained critical, but stable. He was also in renal failure, and the dye from the heart catheterization was brutal on his kidneys.


He began running a fever on Monday night  as he fought off the beginning of an infection in his lungs. (We now know that he's fighting a staph infection, though luckily not an antibiotic resistant strain.) 


Good news is that according to the cardiac surgeon the procedure to remove the blockage was successful. The balloons were removed Wednesday because his heart was strong enough to push all the blood on its own. The pump (machine) was removed from the room.  One piece of machinery out of the ICU room.  His kidneys have also started to do their job.  They are still being monitored, but I believe we are out of the woods and not in a place where they are still considering dialysis. 

On Thursday, the pulmonologist decided it was time to start trying to wean Michael off of the ventilator.  They began reducing Michael's (incredibly heavy) sedatives in the morning to see how he responded.  Because they'd had to work so hard to get him sedated, it took too long for him to come up out the sedation to test his breathing. 


They tried again on  Friday. On Friday, they reduced the amount of support given by the ventilator and let Michael try to breathe on his own, all while being mostly sedated.  He was able to maintain this for 35 minutes.  A few hours later, they tried it again, and he maintained for another 35. He was working so hard.  After thirty five minutes, it looked as if he'd run a marathon.  After all of that, he was slightly more alert, thought not really awake and was responsive to some commands. He also tried to communicate a little, though with the ventilator in, it wasn't successful.  It was a day with some big wins.  Being able to get through those two trials was fantastic. His stats stayed strong, and he was responsive.  

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