On Wednesday, August 15, Skylar went to an Urgent Care clinic after feeling nauseous, with restrictive breathing and general fatigue getting progressively worse for a few weeks but especially the previous couple days . He figured, as most of us would, that he had some kind of a flu or other routine illness. Little did he, or anyone else, suspect that these symptoms were indicators of a major underlying heart-related issue. After taking Skylar’s vital signs, the clinic found irregularities beyond what one would expect for an ordinary illness, and advised him he needed to go to a hospital Emergency Room immediately! Sally drove him to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, WA, where doctors discovered abnormalities in the function of his heart. Specifically, the atria (upper chambers) of his heart had gone into fibrillation. In patients with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, disorderly electrical impulses prevent the atria from contracting and squeezing blood into the ventricles leading to a quivering or irregular and often fast heartbeat. This causes fluids to back up into the sack surrounding his heart, lungs, legs, and in other organs. The doctors were able to stabilize the situation that evening, but needed more tests and monitoring to figure out what was happening.
Over the course of the next 2 weeks, it became apparent to the Cardiologist caring for Skylar that his heart, for unknown reasons, has become enlarged and damaged, and is functioning at a much lower level than normal or healthy. Atrial fibrillation issues continued, although they were able to somewhat control this problem with medication. Cause of Skylar’s heart problems have yet to be determined—it could be caused by a disease, a parasite, genetics or trauma; continued testing will take place to try to figure out what caused this. The medical team caring for Skylar are discussing the need for a heart transplant. Plans are currently underway to transfer Skylar’s care to a cardiac medical team at the University of Washington Medical Center, which has performed over 700 heart transplants.
All of us who know and love Skylar were always aware he had a “big” heart, now not only figuratively but also literally! His spirit has remained strong, and his unique sense of humor and storytelling is as sharp as ever. And, fortunately, he is in great physical shape otherwise, is young, and is a perfect candidate for a new heart. We invite you to support Skylar and the King family by following this site for updates as he travels his path ahead toward renewed health.