Tom Spence

First post: May 27, 2021 Latest post: Aug 22, 2021
On the evening of Saturday, May 22, my dad, Tom, was out fishing with his friend Mark and his dad. Tom started experiencing pain in his back. Mark drove my dad to the nearest hospital in Bemidji where they did a CT scan. The scan showed a large aneurysm on Tom's aorta. The decision was made by Bemidji hospital to airlift Tom to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. Once he was at Mercy, another CT scan was done and it was confirmed that his aneurysm started to dissect (tear), which is what was causing all his pain. 

In the last few days we have been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. There have been a series of issues, including an intestinal blockage and poor kidney function. Tom already had issues with his kidney's before this incident, and the doctors believe that the contrast (dye) they use for the CT scans, really bogged down his kidneys. Good news is the kidney function is getting better each day. The doctors would like to see the kidneys back to where they were when he was admitted. When they perform the stint surgery on the aneurysm, they will have to use the dye quite a bit and they do not want his kidney's to fully shut down. 

During the first few days at Mercy, Tom was having episodes of psychoses, mainly in the evenings. The doctors think this is because they are keeping his blood pressure very low. During these episodes, Tom was getting more and more agitated and was not cooperating with medical staff. Doctors and staff thought it would be best for his blood pressure and body if he was sedated until surgery. Along with sedation, comes a ventilator. That was put in to place yesterday and he is very comfortable. As of today, he is completely off blood pressure medication and they are controlling his blood pressure with sedation. This is a good thing. 

I was able to be with him for a bit today, and things are going well. They are bringing him down for a CT scan right now to rule out any small strokes. They do not think this is what was causing the psychoses, but they want to rule it out. We were told today that when they keep someone's blood pressure as low as they have it with Tom, that small strokes are a possibility. We will have the results from the CT later tonight. 

As long as we don't hit anymore bumps, the plan is to do surgery early next week. This will give time for them to make sure his blood pressure is very well regulated and his kidney function is as good as they can get it. The surgery will consist of a stint being placed where the aneurysm is. I am not sure yet if they will do this by going through the artery in his groin or if they will have to open up his chest. 

I will keep updating this page as we know more. 

**Any donations made to Caring Bridge do not go to the family. 

Please reach out directly if you have any questions.

Thank you, 

Diana Hudalla
Tom's daughter