Hello All! As many of you may be aware, Steve has taken ill recently. Rather than continue to repeat information over and over, I have decided to keep everyone up to date via this incredible service, Caring Bridge. I am his oldest son, Weston. Bare with me, as it has been a long couple months, and I am really not terribly interested in any grammatical correctness nor has it ever been my strong suit to begin with :)!
Back in January of this year the whole family caught a nasty strain of the flu that had been going around. It took everyone several weeks to completed kick the bug, but Dad never really fully recovered. He began to experience weight loss, and over several months lost near 30 pounds, which he really didn't have to lose to begin with. After numerous tests and scans over a period of months, there was no clear diagnosis as to the issue. Dad has never been one to want much attention, so he held this pretty close to the chest. As of two weeks ago, he was no longer able to rest at home, and was admitted to the hospital in North Georgia to really try and find some answers. After several tests and biopsy, he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Vasculitis.
Vasculitis, in a very short description, is the inflammation of vessels and arteries in the body. This inflammation prevents normal blood flow, which can starve the organs and cause them to perform poorly. In Dad's case, the first issues appeared in his Kidneys, but can affect all areas of the body.
The cause of the disease is not known well. In most cases, it is the result of an overactive immune system, that attacks healthy cells, which is the cause of the inflammation. The treatment is an aggressive one. In Dad's case, the care plan is to administer steroids, which reduce inflammation, and use chemotherapy drugs to suppress the immune system, while doing a process called plasmaferesis, which cycles the blood out of his body, removes the platelets and antibodies, and replaces them with a protein used to create new plasma. In other words, we are trying to reboot his system, and clear out anything that could have triggered this issue.
This is where our trouble began. Dad did not respond very well to the plamaferesis. It caused what amounts to a minor heart attack. This led to complications that landed him in the Intensive Care Unit, and on a ventilator.
His condition continues to improve, and we hope that he will be breathing on his own within the next 48 hours. This is GREAT news. However, the treatment to put this disease into remission is the same as what put him in the situation he is currently in. I have completed countless hours of research and everything is pointing to the same treatments. We are working to get him back in a stable condition and restart the treatment in doses that will prevent the reactions from occurring again, but nothing is certain.
Dad has made many friends in his travels. I have heard many (I am sure not all :)) stories of some of the happiest times of life playing music in bars, clubs and arenas across the country and world. I would love for this blog to reach these folks, so we can get some positive energy generated to help him get this MASSIVE Hammond Organ and Leslie Speakers up the many flights of stairs that he will need to push to get over this. That last sentence might not of made sense to some folks, but I'm sure a few of you chuckled a bit.
Prayers, Vibes, or anything else that you are into are appreciated by all of us helping him get back to good. I will keep this page updated as often as I am able, so check back often, and make sure to share this link. https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stevefaulkner
Weston Faulkner and Family