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5/16/2017 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 and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Everything began last Tuesday with some 'acid reflux' and general complaint of chest pain. As many of you know, my dad is a bit on the stubborn side and determined that he could self-medicate and tough it out. Fast forward to Saturday morning at around 4am when my dog was growling for my attention, and then I heard my dad calling for me. He told me he couldn't breathe and asked me to call an ambulance. The next couple hours happened as a blur. Paramedics came and wasted no time in rushing my dad to the ER. By the time I got to the ER they had already intubated my dad, had him on a ventilator and had called the cardiac cath team in to do a cath and check for blockage. The ER doctor told us that he wasn't sure what was going on, but what they knew for sure is that my dad's lungs where full of fluid, and his heart was under significant stress. The couldn't get his blood pressure or his oxygen levels up and his heart was going way too fast. They told us there were a couple things it could be, but they needed to take him to immediate surgery or he wouldn't survive. We were taken to a waiting room where less than an hour later the cardiologist came out and said that they'd called in a cardio-thoracic surgeon and another team because my dad had ruptured a papillary muscle. The simple explanation is that his heart wasn't able to push any blood forward and it had all backed up and filled his lungs entirely. He told us my dad's condition was critical and that without surgery he would die, and even with surgery his odds weren't great. He then had emergency open heart surgery that lasted about 6 hours. Thankfully he came through the surgery much better than expected. They were fortunately able to repair his heart and get some of the fluid off his lungs.
Since then things have been rocky at best, but truly a miracle. He is on more medications than I can count. Medications to level out his blood pressure, his kidneys, his liver, his lungs and keep him sedated. He has tubes for breathing, tubes to drain fluids, central lines, chest tubes and then some. Each hour is a waiting game to see any progress that he'll make and watch the CVICU nurses keep an eye on each drip that goes into his body and that comes out. What I've learned so far is that his fight is far from over. He has overcome more than we could have ever hoped for, but we still need several miracles ahead of us.
We absolutely welcome any support or encouragement we can get. We covet your prayers and will be leaning on the support of friends and family for the foreseeable future. Due to the length and severity of his stay, we're anticipating that there will be some heavy financial burdens, so any donations would be appreciate. Just a side note, caring bridge also asks for donation so if you choose to donate money make sure it's to Rick and not 'in honor' of him!