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Update on Don Miller
Nov 13, 2017 Latest post:
Jan 18, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
On Sunday, November 5th, Don was brought to the hospital after complaining of severe shortness of breath. After a CT scan in the ER doctors discovered a massive blood clot in his right lung and clots in his left lung. The decision was made to rush him into surgery to insert a catheter that would deliver "Clot Busting" meds (TPA and Heparin). As the catheter was put in place and the surgery almost complete, Don went into cardiac arrest multiple times. After 25 minutes of repeated CPR, the medical staff stabilized him and were able to finish the surgery. Don was moved to a room in the Critical Care unit where he arrested again. Doctors administered CPR again and successfully brought him back. The prognosis was grim from both the vascular surgeon and pulmonary doc. There was great concern for his neurological condition and kidney function due to the loss of oxygen and drop in blood pressure (during the numerous arrests). On Sunday night he was intubated and heavily sedated. The medical staff tended to him around the clock. We were told there was a very slim chance of survival.
By Monday afternoon, November 6th, Don seemed to have made a miraculous recovery. The doctors were encouraged by his improvement and made plans towards removing the ventilator. By Tuesday afternoon, November 7th, Don was fully awake and ready to have the tube removed. The medical staff successfully removed the tube and continued to be encouraged by Don's improvement.
All Wednesday, November 8th and Thursday morning, November 9th, Don was having more and more trouble breathing on his own. By Thursday early afternoon, he was in respiratory failure and the decision to put him back on the ventilator was made. Doctors believe that he is suffering from "Acute Lung Injury" from the repeated, intense chest compressions during CPR. The lungs are badly damaged from the chest compressions and his heart is weak due to the tremendous strain put on it from the blood clots. The doctors remain hopeful that he will recover, however, it will be a very long, slow process.