Tom Prieve

First post: Sep 5, 2020 Latest post: Feb 3, 2021
We've had so many people ask how they can help.  For those that feel inclined to contribute to ease the financial burden, please go to the support links under “ways to help--- support links” -- all donations go directly to Dad and Mom

 - PayPal (
 - Venmo (@Nicole-Prieve) 

The "Tribute" option goes directly to the CaringBridge organization as a donation to their company, which generously provides this service free of charge for everyone.  I know there has been confusion with this as it does not go to Dad and Mom so I wanted to clarify so that everyone is donating as they're intending to. 

Thank you so much to everyone that has already reached out, sent gifts/cards, etc.  
For those interested in sending anything by mail: 

65481 216th St.
Darwin, MN

As some of you have seen by now, Dad has been dealing with health struggles for just shy of a year.  So many of you have kindly reached out asking for updates.  In order to keep everyone updated, we thought it was best to start this CaringBridge.

Dad had been dealing with ankle pain and had required a surgery for several years.  The ankle surgery was set to be completed just shy of six years ago.  During the pre-op appoint they noticed very concerning heart issues and the ankle surgery was immediately put on hold.  On February 26th, 2014 Dad had an emergency surgery to replace his bicuspid aortic valve, resulting in a mechanical aortic valve and a partial replacement of his aorta.

Fast forward to September of 2019 – they had just completed a garage sale at the house and dad’s ankle completely gave out.  He was bedbound and the ankle surgery was necessary.  All things considered; everything went very well with this surgery. 

Late January of 2020, while recovering, dad started experiencing debilitating and excruciating back pain.  He was admitted for several days and was diagnosed with discitis, an infection in the intervertebral disc space and was given antibiotics and a steroid shot.  They had also determined that he had arthritis in is back and advised that he also undergoes physical therapy.  Overall, he was hospitalized for a week this time.  Things improved very slightly, but he was still unable to work.

On May 9th dad was brought to Hutchinson Health due to an episode of acute confusion.  He woke up not knowing if it was day or night and just kept saying he was really disoriented.  He was then transferred via ambulance to St. Cloud CentraCare and was hospitalized for two days.  An MRI showed multiple small acute infarcts in left frontal lobe, left parietal, and right cerebrum – due to multiple acute ischemic strokes (aka spider strokes).

His next hospital stay was June 2nd through June 6th, due to the same symptoms as the previous month and an MRI was obtained.  On June 5th, they performed a colonoscopy because they had also noted some blood in his stool.  (Dad was only due to have a colonoscopy in January; however, given the other health issues this was put on hold.)  During the procedure they found what was very likely a malignant tumor in the rectum and he was officially diagnosed with rectal cancer on June 16th. 

On June 18th dad had his first consult with the Coborn Cancer Center.  Fortunately, at this point they had not seen any indication of the cancer spreading anywhere else and the stage was determined to be T2, meaning it wasn’t through the rectal wall which was great news.  On June 30th, dad had his port put in and on July 2nd, he began six weeks of chemotherapy as well as six weeks of radiation, five days a week. 

On July 4th, things had started out pretty good in the morning and dad was even able to sit outside in the shade for a little bit.  Later that evening, he had another episode of confusion and was brought to the ER. 

Overall, dad had handled the chemo and radiation as well as could be expected.  He did have some potential heart concerns and was placed on a heart monitor for a weekend, which didn’t result in anything alarming.  Dad celebrated his last day of his first round of chemo on August 6th, and his last day of radiation on August 10th.  This was great news and he was starting to get some energy back and able to enjoy himself a bit.  We were even able to freeze sweet corn and can some pears!

Around August 27th, dad started having low-mid grade fevers and chills that he couldn’t kick.  We consulted with CentraCare on the 29th when things weren’t changing, and he was brought to their ER.  They did blood cultures and discovered gram-positive cocci, a type of bloodstream infection.  They performed a Transesophageal Echocardiogram and unfortunately saw that the infection had attacked his artificial heart valve.  They then scheduled to have his port removed because there was a great risk of that being attacked as well.  St. Cloud CentraCare does not have the expertise to perform this surgery, and dad is currently waiting to be transferred to the University of Minnesota.  He is set to have a valve removal and replacement performed on Thursday, September 10th with Dr. John Foker and a team of surgeons.  The procedure is expected to last 13-15 hours.

I know I’m missing so many details/procedures/ambulance rides/hospital visits, etc.  Dad has been through so much over the past twelve months.   

The main thing that we need right now are positive vibes and continued prayers.  However, so many of you have generously asked how you can contribute financially.  The fact that dad has been unable to work for the past year, the financial stress of COVID (which I know so many of us are feeling) and with insurmountable medical bills continuing to pile on, the offer is so greatly appreciated.

Your love, support, and prayers mean the world to all of us – we love you!

- Nicole, Janaye, & Tyler

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