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Sep 15, 2016 Latest post:
Sep 30, 2016
Welcome to Steve's 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. To bring everyone up to date, here's what has transpired: After feeling somewhat ill over this past weekend, Steve started having breathing problems on Tuesday and called 911 to take him to the hospital in Flagstaff. The medical personnel there immediately recognized his symptoms as being Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). He was flown to Banner Hospital in Phoenix where he was admitted to the ICU. Thankfully, Kathryn Barr (a/k/a Kat) was there and able to assist the doctors with his medical history, etc. Yesterday was an eventful day trying to get Steve stabilized. He was in septic, cariogenic and hypovolemic shock, meaning he had infection(s) in his blood, heart and lungs. He was on a ventilator, but not able to breath in sufficient O2 or expel carbon dioxide. In the afternoon, Steve was connected to an ECMO system. ECMO works by removing blood from the person's body and artificially removing the carbon dioxide and oxygenating red blood cells. ECMO gives him both cardiac and respiratory support so that his lungs can heal and begin to function on their own. If you are interested, Wikipedia has a short article on ECMO that will give you more information than we can here. Steve had an uneventful night and his lab results have continued to improve. He had somewhat of a set-back this morning. A slight movement of head, caused his BP to dramatically drop. A trauma team and crash cart were immediately called and Kat and I were able to witness the fine work of about 10-12 medical professionals who were able to immediately stabilize him. Because he responded so well to treatment and had no other issues, it appears that he is just is super sensitive to the garden hoses coming in an out of his neck. Right now (noon Phoenix time), he is stable and holding his own. We are now waiting on the results of multiple tests to provide a definitive diagnosis. Assuming it is Hantavirus, there is no treatment other than what his is undergoing. He is on multiple antibiotics, which can be stopped if the lab tests show this is not a bacterial infection. Hantavirus is a rare illness associated with contact with infected rodents. As most of you know, Steve has a home in Flagstaff, across the road from a Coconino National Forest. Hantavirus has been diagnosed in at least 2 patients this year in Coconino County. We are thinking that there were mice in the garage where his dog Muhka stays during the day and he breathed in the virus when he was in there. Once we get a definitive diagnosis of HPS, we will be having his home and car appropriately cleaned and an exterminator will be hired to prevent reoccurrence. It is extremely rare for one to get HPS from person-to-person contact and the incubation period is 1-8 weeks with the average of 3 weeks. Kat and I will continue to update this site as things happen. Remember - no news is good news, so don't think bad things if you don't see an update. In fact, no bad thoughts at all! If you are a praying person, add Steve to your nightly prayers. Otherwise, send your good thoughts down here! Cele (Steve's sister)