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On Tuesday February 25th Tim went in for what we thought would be a “simple” procedure in his esophagus/stomach to help with acid reflux and to fix a hiatal hernia. He was only supposed to stay one night for observation. One night turned into two, two turned into three. Tuesday night through Wednesday, his white blood count was high and he was in a lot of pain. Not from the incision but everywhere else. We assumed it was pain from the air that was pumped in during surgery. However, it just never went away. They did an X-ray and a CT to look for a leak and didn’t find anything. They decided to put him on antibiotics and pain meds but nothing was helping, and Tim was still in agony. He was retaining a lot of fluid as well.
We thought maybe it was influenza, but he tested negative. Tim felt like he was having muscle spasms or like he was being shocked. Tim was not able to sleep or find any comfortable position, he was very short of breath and His O2 levels continued to decline.
Tim was released on Friday and everything we were concerned about, they didn’t seem to be. He spent Friday and Saturday in pain, gasping for air, and continued to retain more and more fluid. I thought maybe his electrolytes were off since he was strictly on a liquid diet. So we bumped up electrolytes.
By Sunday, he was out of pain meds and couldn’t take it anymore. We went into the ER and they were immediately concerned with his breathing. They put him on O2 and then a bipap machine to force air into his lungs. They did an X-ray and another CT and they were concerned of a leak and an infection. At this point he had gained 15+ lbs of fluid. We were then told, he’d need to go back into the OR to figure out what’s going on and that it couldn’t be done in Eau Claire. He would have to go to Marshfield. Fast forward, they intubated and sedated him and called in the flight crew, airlifted him to Marshfield. He’s been intubated/sedated since. We were not aware of the extent or severity. We both thought we’d be chatting later that night.
Tim ended up with a hole in his esophagus from surgery that was unfortunately missed causing a huge infection-Sepsis!! Tim is being kept sedated and in a paralyzed state to help his body rest and heal. The doctor inserted tubes to help drain any excess fluid and a stent to seal the leak. The cardiothoracic surgeon went in and flushed out/cleaned out his chest cavity, removed a lot of infection and put in another set of chest tubes and NG tube.
They’ll keep him intubated and sedated until they have everything under control and can take the breathing tubes out. We have no guess at timeframe. It’s just day to day. The good thing is that Tim fought hard to keep the infection at bay. Normally it could be fatal within 24 hours.
A meal train has also been set up by one of Dawns dear friends. https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/q4v07r