Wayne Lemke

First post: Jan 29, 2022 Latest post: Feb 9, 2022
On Nov. 30th Wayne went to get an esophagectomy at Fairview Southdale Hospital for the treatment of his esophagus cancer. The surgery went well but complications arose  a week later. He was taking in too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen in his breathing. He was also having leakage in the esophagus that the doctors were trying to handle.  They also told us he had very bad malnutrition and his lungs were very scarred. All this would make any type of recovery long and difficult. On Dec. 9th Wayne was placed on a ventilator and put in sedation. During this time he would get several stints put in. In late December he had to get a Tracheostomy. Now the process became to slowly take everything off of him one at a time. It seems like this was becoming a long process as his body was not passing the tests when things were weaned off of him. He continued to take in too much carbon dioxide when they tried having him breath on his own. He also struggled with cooperation when sedation was lowered. So for a long period of time he would remain with the ventilator while being sedated to keep him comfortable. Later we were told that there may be a possibility that the ventilator could be permanent with all the scarring in his lungs. We are praying for the best in this situation. 


Finally on Jan 22nd he was taken off of sedation and was up and somewhat coherent. One downfall during this week was Fairview had to change their visitor policy. Before Wayne could have one visitor a day but it could be someone different every time. Now he can only have one visitor and that visitor can only be the one that visits him for now. Which is a bummer now that he is finally up but the better news is we are seeing some progress. So he is now up but in a little bit of a confused state from being sedated for over a month and a lot of procedures done while he was in this state. He is trying to talk but is having a tough time learning to do this with his trach. He often mouths full sentences but he needs to learn to concentrate on just one word since nothing comes out in those sentences. He will have a long recovery with much physical therapy because of the decreased muscle strength along with other structural changes with all the procedures and lying in bed this whole time.


Wayne has had family members visit him up until the time of the new visitor policy. Now his wife, Becky, goes to visit while Joshua and his family visit through the hospital's facetime app. Since he can't quite talk yet he sometimes tries to write messages down. But most of the time the messages are very hard to read because his hands and cognitive functions are just not there yet.


The family asks to please keep him in your prayers, He is quite lonely and if you could maybe write an encouraging word it would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to send him a card you can send to his son, Joshua, and he will get them to the hospital.  I am sure Wayne would love seeing them. Thank you for taking the time to read Wayne's Story. If you would like to send a card please send to the address below:


Joshua Lemke
c/o Wayne Lemke
2318 Bronco Lane
Buffalo, MN  55313

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