Dec 15, 2020 Latest post:
Dec 20, 2020
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On Wednesday, December 9, Sharon was admitted to Bluffton Regional Medical Center with blood clots in both lungs. She was given IV Heparin and a very low flow of oxygen, and her symptoms improved. She was still somewhat short of breath, but no longer required the oxygen support when she was dismissed on Saturday, December 12.
About 3:30 on Sunday afternoon, I started a FaceTime call with her. She no more than answered when she said she didn’t feel well and collapsed. I honestly don’t know if she passed out or what exactly happened. Fortunately, the FaceTime call stayed connected, and I was able to call Swiss Village to request nurse assistance. They called the EMS, and I stayed connected the whole time until after they loaded her into the EMS. They transported her to Bluffton, but the ER there sent her straight on to Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne.
Later that evening when I called to check on her, I learned that she was very ill and that they had intubated her and placed a central line. I spoke to Dr. Copeland, her heart surgeon, who was recommending she be placed on ECMO, which is a heart/lung bypass machine. This would allow her heart and lungs a chance to rest and recover enough so that they could later perform surgery to remove a large clot in her pulmonary artery. The surgery to place her on ECMO went well and was finished about 10:30 Sunday evening. She was then taken to the CVIC unit where her condition was stable.
I flew to Ft. Wayne Monday morning and was just pulling into the parking lot at Lutheran about noon when Dr. Copeland called to tell me that they needed to take her back into surgery. Her condition had been stable earlier in the morning but had started to deteriorate late morning. She was requiring more oxygen support, and her kidneys were showing signs of early stages of failure. Greg (via FaceTime) and I were able to be with her in her room while they prepped her and her plethora of machines and walk down to the OR. It took 5 people to push her and all of her equipment! The surgery was about a 4-hour procedure and was quite extensive. Dr. Copeland removed many clots from her pulmonary artery. I was finally able to see her for a little bit about 8:00 Monday night. They have very strict visiting hours here due to COVID. Each patient is only allowed one visitor per day between the hours of 12:00-8:00 PM. I was so grateful for the extra grace last evening! When I left, she was stable, and they were working on getting her and all of her “buddies” set up and settled for the night.
This morning, Tuesday, I received a call at 2:45 telling me they were taking her back into surgery. Her pulmonary pressure was too high, and she was needing more oxygen support. Dr. Copeland was concerned there may be a leak or a clot around her heart. They called about 5:30-6:00 to tell me that the surgery had gone well and that they didn’t find anything that needed revision. The plan for the time being is to keep her on the ECMO probably until later this week to give her a chance to heal and recover and to support her medically as best they can.
Mom is getting excellent care, and we are so very, very grateful for the care she is receiving. Greg and I would also like to let everyone know how much we appreciate all of the calls, texts, and messages of love, support, and help, and most especially the prayers. God has a plan in all of this, and even though we don’t understand, His ways are so much greater than ours!