Tom Keaton

First post: Aug 8, 2017 Latest post: Oct 5, 2017
July 7

Tom has struggled with HBP and Congestive heart failure for several year. Each time after an emergency visit it took him longer to recover. July 7th he is admitted as high risk, to Mercy Hospital in Rogers, AR

July 12

Well it keeps getting crazier. The TEE (camera he swallowed to show the back side of the heart) shows that 2 valves are causing trouble. So the surgeon says we have no choice but to do open heart surger. Replace the Mitro Valve and repair the other one. I don't remember his name. Then a pace maker will finish the party. He has to wait on 4 bacterial test to culture. 48 hrs. This is to make sure he doesn't have infections of any kind. I guess those burgers crash the party sometimes, yuck. Most likely surgery on Monday and recovery and physical therapy and new diet. We will be celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary in the hospital.

July 12

He has had his neck arteries scanned, TEE (oral camera to look at the back of the valve). We will see if the surgeon can work him into the schedule or if Tom goes home for 10 days. Janice doesn't feel good about that one but Tom is tired of the hospital and insurance may not pay for those 10 days of waiting. We still have not heard plans for which kind of surgery (through the rib cage and just fix the valve or do open heart and repair the heart aorte and remove the old valve and replace it) The surgeon can get the best picture when actually in the surgery and change plans. Janice wants Tom fixed even while knowing it is a longer recovery. Actually Janice and her siblings are having "FaceTime" at 8:00 to determine the very same facts for her mother who saw her heart surgeon today in Wichita, KS. Thanks for your prayers and visits.

July 8th

No news yet the nurse has contacted the Dr nurse. They were just then going over all the info. She wasn't even sure that they were at the hospital yet. Tom's tummy hurts but no they can't give him Tums or anything. The nurse dated that ? is not an a factor with Drs. So here we wait. I slept here last night so I would not miss them. Do not call Tom and talk about what you had for lunch. His last anything was water about 10:00 last night. B it if it means we are going to get something done today were okay with that

July 17

I got my phone charger and Tom Keaton got his heart charged. The surgeon came in at 4:00 to give us a great report. Tom got a " Razorback" valve on his aortic valve, and a nicely repaired mitral valve and a surprise graft to round it out. Nice surgeon! I guess they watched the heart for 2 hours and they couldn't get the right side to work completely. We all had a word of prayer for the Dr to know what to do. Praise God he thought of the fact that perhaps something was nicht during SX and that a graft would give that extra blood flow to the right side. He did not even have to use heart bypass to do this final procedure and that God the whole heart worked beautiful. Praise God!!! Tom will be one tired boy for quite a while. Jenny and are here and waiting for him to come out of recovery. Thank you all for your prayers. NO MORE NEWSY LETTERS FROM ME.

July 18

He woke up during the night and knew I called. His heart still has a balloon pump to assist his heart. They are giving him IV's to bring up his blood pressure. Visits will be short. Yes, we would appreciate your visit and prayer. You may post his condition via email. Happy Anniversary Tom, thanks for 47 yrs

July 19

??Thanks to your prayer we made it thru wed night. Tom was put back on the respirator as lungs were filling up He was in total confusion and combative. Thee right side of heart was not wanting to work, his potassium levels were very high, his whole body was acidic and he had gained 40lbs of fluid and he had acute renal failure. His handsome face and neck were swollen and frightening looking. Dialysis would be needed. He has been sedated this whole time. The Cardiologist says his heart is acting as if it had a bad heart attack. Thanks to many prayers he has now reached a plateau. Today is his. 5th day in ICU and 15th day in the hospital. They have given him medicine to retain the fluids in his vascular system . After that was successful they are giving him lasix to remove fluids from the tissues. His lungs are clear, he has had 2 units of blood to increase the volume his heart needs. They disable the pacemaker to get an accurate reading of his heart and then they did a heart sonogram which wasn't giving be s t readings so he had a more sufisticated sonogram with dye. I have not heard of the results yet. Continue to pray as his children are all here and concerned about Mom and Dad.

July 23

Tom is off dialysis. He tolerated it well. They pulled off 3 leters. His electrolytes look better and his potassium is down. His acidity is much improved. His output is really good. They are bringing him off sedation as he was at 15. He was coughing and Alanna, his nurse, suctioned a bunch off so that was very productive. His eyes are partly open again but did not respond to wiggling his toes. I think this will so improve his situation. Blood pressure still low heart rate still high. I saw his leg where the graft came from and it is healing. I think I am going to write a diary "while you were sleeping". ? which by the way I had a two hour nap. We are now members of our church. Love you all

July 28

Tom is very non responsive tonight. 6th day on dialysis taking off 4 leters 3.3, yester day They were 2.7 They took him off meds to increase the blood pressure. It dropped from 117/ 62 to 90/52. They got him up on the side of the bed again today. He is breathing with a bypap today. Liver enzymes down but also are his platelets, 27 from yesterdays 35. Respiration 35. The nurse said it could be several months to get his strength back. He tried so hard to get out of bed last night. He wanted to walk me downstairs. I really have a lot of questions and it seems only his cardiologist shoots straight with me. I have not seen him for 3 days. Thanks for cards, prayers and support.

July 29, 2017

Tom either aspirated something, or has pnemonia. They put him back on the respirator. Very discouraging. Saw him briefly tonight as I am working.

July 31

Tom's heart is so weak that he has pulmonary edema, so fluids follow the path of least resistance and that is the lungs. They are finally calling it pneumonia. They are doing dialysis now and some times he can't handle that. Pray as he also has ICU psychosis and needs someone he knows to sit with him. I'm needing to work and can only depend on volunteers. Please pray for my sweet Tom.

Aug 2

Not much change. Dr's do want to "visit" with us at 8:15AM tomorrow.

Aug 3rd

The Drs here want to transfer Tom to Springfield Mercy. We have to get a Dr to accept him as a patient and get a bed for him. Miriam and I get things packed. They are thinking that a fresh set of eyes will help Tom. Thinking is that an exterior heart pump may be an option. Still have no idea of the location of the infection. Possible sepsis, not UTI and all ports have been changed. They have decided to fly him. I have a one bedroom apt waiting for me at The Cambridge. David Reichert really has pulled strings for me. What a relief as I will have a kitchen and an air mattress for guests.

Aug 4th

Hurry up and wait. We get to the hospital at 8:30 to find Tom intubated for the 4th time. We are so hurting for Tom. They have gotten Tom all ready for transport but logistics got all mixed up and sent a ground crew. We finally loaded Tom on the helicopter at 1:35PM and it will be a 40 minute flight. Pastor Mark and Sue beat us as they are coming home from Wisconsin. Miriam and I arrive at 4:00. Nothing much will take place till these Drs asses Tom and get him stable.

We are shocked to find out that Tom had been non responsive. They had done a cat scan and didn't tell us. Bummer!

Aug 5th

I met with the Drs for a long time telling them his story and what had happened prior to each intubation. The did a TEE and find the valves as stated. They do test to find infection source. Everthing comes back negative. Nurses are so very sweet. Jenny came in about 5:00.


Miriam gets fancy donuts for the great staff. The night nurse has made a banner and signs for everyone who cares for him to wish him a happy birthday. We find good news as his Creatinine went downward each day from arrival with 5.23 he is now is 1.69. His platelets are up to 78. He had surgery to place a tracheotomy and peg tube place for direct feeding to h is stomach. Miriam gets home safely. They did a sonogram and found a hole remaining in the right groin artery. This has to be fixed ASAP as he has several toes turning purple. The feet seem to still have a good pulse. Surgery scheduled for 1:00 after they first try gluing it. His whole leg is in danger. They have ordered another unit of blood to increase the volume of blood needed to keep him heart working best. Ii is taking a long time to get here. Something about antibodies. Every time you get blood you now need to match it as close as possible because you take on the new donors antibodies. What things I learn.

Aug 7

Surgery has been bumped, is all we know. Probably scheduling. A new nurse is now describing it as an aneurysm. She describes the risk factor as not only is his leg at risk but his very life if it but ruptures . A sonogram of the leg is taken. Tom is looking better but had pain meds keep him resting. The fever is still present.

Had a good visit with dad this afternoon, he was awake and alert at times. Mom told him to to tell me to be nice and not beat mom at cards all the time. He gave me a look and shook his finger at me. ??

Then mom asked him to smile and it took him awhile but he gave 3 quick cheesy smiles to her. It was definitely dad personality shining through. Dad also mouth to mom that he loves her and gave her kisses.

We are letting dad rest now and mom is going to hopefully take a nap too.

Dad is scheduled to repair the aneurysm in his leg tomorrow morning at 6:45.

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