Michael Burkett

First post: Nov 25, 2018
We are using this website to keep family and friends updated in one place and to continue telling Michael's story of strength and recovery. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Here are the first 3, most intense days of his journey, see the Journal link for more updates: 

Chapter 1: Hospitalized, ICU, 10% Odds Surgery: 

On Wednesday October 17th, around 2pm I got a text that Michael checked into St. Mary's Regional Medical hospital with stomach pain relating to the pancreas. At 6:50pm it was found that his lipase levels were at a shockingly high level of 30,000. At 10:16pm his Vitals were checked, and this blood pressure was so dangerously low, he was quickly moved to the ICU floor.  at 10:26pm he was induced in a coma and incubated. at 10:42pm, I bought a ticket for the next flight out, not sure I would make it to Reno on time to see my dad alive. at around 3:30am I was called and told I should say something to him over the phone because he might not make it. I arrived at 10:20am the next morning in time. 

On Thursday, October 18th Micheal's blood pressure continued to be incredibly low, on four blood pressure pressers which were the highest they could go, his heart rate now skyrocketing rates hitting 130 beats per min, with articulate fibrillation, and a fever.  His wife, all of his children, and his brother stayed the night in the ICU waiting room, taking shifts so that his had is continuously held. We feel so helpless, we can't do anything but wait... wait, and hold his hand. 

On Friday, October 19th, his high heart rate continues, and at a prolonged 182 beats per min. At 6:15am a nurse tells me that she wants to be honest ... there is only so long that the heart can go on like this. Around 11am, he is taken down for a CT scan to check inflammation. He is brought back up to ICU with elevated and irregular heart rates, reaching as high as 212 beats per min. Family is by his side in complete disbelieve , the best I can describe this Indescribable feeling is a gut-mind-heart-soul wrenching, conflicting feeling of hope and fear. We are told the results of the scan show part of the colon has died and he needs emergency surgery. With the surgery, he has a 10 percent chance of survival, without the surgery, he will die by the end of the night. At 2:52pm they have to shock his heart. They do so two times. It doesn't work.  Family only has 1 hour with him, each child gets 5 min with him, then other family. Half way through time, we are told the operating room is ready sooner, we only have a few more min. Billy and Bret give Tami their time so she can spend it with him. At 4:06pm, he is taking down to the second floor surgery room. The waiting room is full of people who love him: Tami, Billy, Jessica, Bret, Caty, Brandi, Jayla, Rhiannon, Emma, Brock, Cali, Brian, April, Bob, Margaret, Chad, Vanessa, Remy, Kelly, Alice, Pastors Jeff, David, Carols, Todd, and Barb, Lynda, Majesta, Billy, Gloria, Him, Janet, Reenie, Brandi J. Sierra, Dean, Cathy, and more (sorry if I didn't get you down, my memory was shaken at the time). Around 6pm, we see his bed being moved down the hallway, he made it, he beat the 10 percent odds. The surgery went well, they were able to remove parts of the colon, and reattach. The surgeon said "the surgery was the right decision, he would have died without it" Jessica fainted. That night the ICU waiting room was filled again, Brian and April stayed this time... we all did shifts, hand was held for almost 22 hours strait after surgery. 

After that night, the rollercoaster continued: See Journal updates to view the day to day significant things that occurred. 

The best way I can describe this journey so far, is it started out as a thread. My dad's life was hanging by a single thread, and we so strongly hoped, and prayed, and waited for the thread to strengthen, and to not snap and break. That thread slowly became a rope, then a chain, and on November 25th, Day 40 of being hospitalized, that chain is strong, and it's more like a ground on which he can stand. He is a fighter, the strongest person I know, and our family together - is even stronger. The links to the chain all work together to build his recovery; medicine, faith, friends, family, love, and some kind of cosmic force that led us to where we are now. The road ahead is long, but it is much more beautiful than the road behind us, and we will continue the hike with thankfulness, gratitude, and patience. 

I love you so much dad, 

Love, Caty