On Wednesday, September 4 Tracey was brought to HCMC by ambulance after complaints of not feeling well & showing signs of altered mental state. His blood pressure was through the roof & he had a fever over 104°. He showed some signs of respiratory distress so he was sedated & placed on a ventilator.
He was found to have a serious infection in his blood (“sepsis”) that they began treating immediately with IV antibiotics. The sepsis led to endocarditis, a condition where an infected mass (a “vegetation”) has developed on the mitral valve of his heart, & it is not yet known whether Tracey will need surgery to repair the heart valve.
Tracey is currently stable & receiving great care at HCMC. However, his condition is extremely serious & potentially life-threatening. Prior to the infection he was already in end-stage renal failure (kidney failure) managed with dialysis, in addition to diabetes & high blood pressure. It’s possible that the bacteria was introduced to his bloodstream via the dialysis port, but there’s no way to know for sure.
What the doctors are watching for in the ICU are signs of that mitral valve being so damaged they would need to replace it to save his life. They have done additional diagnostics to evaluate the vegetation & get a better sense of how severe it is. The hope is that Tracey will be able to recover completely from the infection & go home, then follow up with Cardiology to monitor his heart closely to see if the endocarditis can be managed without surgery. Mitral valve replacement surgery is a huge deal for anyone, so it’s very risky for someone with these chronic conditions & the goal is to avoid it if possible.
This infection has been a huge strain on his body & although he is stable, he’s not out of the woods so prayers are needed to lift him & the family up. He’s still on the vent for now but as he continues to improve, they’ll begin testing him to see if he’s ready to come off of it.
It’s a scary time so we all need to be prepared for any possibility & be there to support him & his loved ones. We’ll continue to share updates as we get them. Thanks everyone - Kat