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Team Rebecca Koonce
Feb 24, 2018 Latest post:
May 5, 2018
Welcome to Becca's Caring Bridge page that her parents (Jeff and Sue) and brother (Evan) set up to keep her friends and family updated on her medical condition. Just a little background, Becca had begun feeling "off" as she puts it starting at the beginning of the holiday season (October/November since one of her faves is Halloween). Finally just before her annual Christmas Party, Sue made her go to the doctor to check out her cough and other symptoms (tight chest, fever, shortness of breath, loss of appetite...) as it had being going on for quite a few weeks significantly and only seemed to be getting worse. She was diagnosed (looking back now quite probably a misdiagnosis) with bronchitis/walking pneumonia before just before Christmas. Christmas and New Years came and went and although resting, tons of fluids, and the meds prescribed by her doctor seemed to help... she was not better. Becca returned to the same doctor to see why this was just before mid January as a follow up and was prescribed another round of meds. After two rounds of this remedy with no progress, Sue decided it was time to take it up a notch and go to her normal doctor (as the previous one seen as the typical urgent care that you go to when you have a cold or something similar to what Becca had thought was originally the cause of her sickness). Becca and Sue went to her primary care physician to further investigate what was the matter and her doctor was leaning towards a viral infection that needed more time to work its way out. Thankfully, Sue was not satisfied with this answer and told the doctor that Becca was not her self and this must be more than a virus so they requested a blood panel. The blood panel came back with alarming numbers that presented the doctors with liver enzyme levels which looked like Becca's liver was failing. They immediately booked an appointment with a specialist first thing the next morning - and by first thing... we are talking 7am first thing (for those of you that do not know... Becca nor Sue are "morning people". After meeting with a highly regarded gastroenterologist (which they later found out was not up to their standards - even though she went to Stanford) they were presented with a few ideas and then ordered a lot of more tests (and by a lot... we are talking 30+ vials of blood in one sitting). Test after test including scans, biopsies and more... Doctor #2 was still stumped. This was the same song and dance for doctors 3,4 & 5 as Becca quickly became a mystery case all the while she was getting sicker and sicker. Their only prognosis was to continue to monitor me while they ruled out possible diagnosis one by one and "If it gets really bad, go the the ER". This was a bit un settling and nothing was getting accomplished fast enough. No one knew what was wrong and they continued to get blank stares. Sue and Jeff took her to other specialists, clinics, and finally one particularly bad night Becca was experiencing side pains and they contacted a family friend (who also happened to be a surgeon) stepped in and insisted Becca go immediately back to the ER. PS: They probably should have asked a few of our doctor friends sooner - but no one really thinks a 28 year old with no medical history of anything heart related is experiencing heart failure). They went straight to the ER at Providence Hospital in Anchorage and she was wheeled right on back. A very very sick exhausted Becca attempted to do her best by answering all of their questions (harder said than done with such shortness of breath and such a long list of questions) while Sue provided print outs from every test and obtained during their their previous appointments. They were admitted in to Providence with a heart failure/discovery of blood clots diagnosis while Doctors ad Nurses worked tirelessly to determine the cause of this. Almost a week after being admitted to "Prov" as they call it - Becca was sent down to the cathlab to take a look at her heart from way of her throat and then up through her groin. Right before she was going back for the procedures a few things happened... they were unable to get another IV in her and then she started complaining of serious pain in her leg. They wheeled her back and what was supposed to be a 2 hour routine procedure turned into a 6 hour emergency surgery on her left leg to clear out a blood clot showering. As this was not was she has anticipated... a very confused and entertaining Becca came out of surgery that night. Clearing some tears with cracked grins and smiles as she yelled to her Dad unsure of why she was stuck in the middle seat and pissed about not having the exit row. Unfortunately, she was not able to deflect the seriousness of her current condition with comedy for very long as she suddenly started grabbing her right leg and yelling in pain. The Nurse on duty called back down to the Doctor in the ER and that night they went back in for round number two on her right leg to clear even more blood clots. 2 surgeries and almost 24 hours later a cardio doc came in to talk to Becca about the blood clot shower and what this meant about her current condition. To keep this what is now a very long story short... UW was contacted to take Becca's case as they were unable to go any further with providing her the care she needed in Anchorage. UW accepted and Becca and Sue were medevaced to Seattle within what felt like no minutes... but was probably a few hours. Family friends helped Sue get packed at home while Jeff and Evan reserved a separate domestic flight within hours of Becca and Sue's flight. They all arrived safely to Seattle and began the journey you will read about here. As of March 30th - Becca has been out of the hospital for a day and is continuing to recover. It was not an easy road for her or her family. With the overwhelming support of family and friends their load was lightened tremendously, and for that... we thank you from the bottom of our hearts