Shane’s Story

Site created on February 25, 2019

As many of you already know Shane Thurlo, my partner and best friend, has been hospitalized here in Portland since February 9th.  Shane was admitted to Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital’s Kern ICU, with complications of the flu and pneumonia.  The pneumonia progressed to a point that he needed to be intubated with a breathing tube and placed on a ventilator.  The diagnosis for such an event is called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome  or (ARDS).  Shane’s lungs have sustained enough damage to keep him ventilated and critically ill since this time.  I last spoke to Shane on the night of the 9th, and since that time he has been medically paralyzed and sedated, in order to tolerate his sickness and ventilation. 
Although his flu has been treated, Shane has suffered another infection in the hospital and his condition has deteriorated. This isn’t uncommon with progressive flu/ARDS and an ICU stay, but it’s none the less a set back and a disappointment.  With a critical illness of this nature, it also isn’t uncommon for other major organs to sustain injury. In Shane’s case, his kidneys have had a big hit. 
Yesterday 2/24/19 Shane was transferred to Legacy Emanual Hospital’s Nuerological Trauma ICU.  Shane was placed on continuous renal replacement therapy or CRRT, also commonly known as dialysis.  In addition, they have him on a specialized ventilator that percuses or shakes his lungs.  When Shane is stable enough medically, they will perform a tracheotomy to help less invasively ventilate him. I’m hoping for this soon. 
Is this enough medical jargon and information for you? Yikes!! 
Although I myself am a nurse and am no stranger to the medical field, I have never been so humbled and shaken to my core. To watch your loved one in this condition day after day with no promise of healing is devestating.  I am learning a lot about my own resilience. I have so much respect for the nurses, Drs, respiratory therapists and staff at both hospitals.
It is my hope that this information will keep the love, prayers and positive vibrations flowing for Shane. In addition, this is a good way to post updates regularly.   I am overwhelmed by the support of my family, friends, co -workers and complete strangers. I know Shane would be too.  Shane and I are on this journey together but I couldn’t do it without your support.  Love to you all and thank you. ❤️🙏🏻🌈💪🏼


Newest Update

Journal entry by Brianna Bassett

Once again, it’s been a few days and you all won’t believe the miraculous improvement and progress Shane has made. I’ve never been more proud of someone in my life. 

On March 15th Shane moved to the Trauma step down unit (TRACU) at Emanual hospital.  Yay!!! There he started physical and occupational therapy as well as speech therapy. On March 18th, Shane had his trache removed and was advanced to a regular diet! Real food!!!! The remainder of Shane’s time on TRACU was spent gaining strength and more independence, as well as a healthy dose of boredom and anticipation for what’s to come. Here, Shane walked with a walker and PT down the hall for the first time. He ate his first solid food in a month and a half and talked to family for the first time. 

Although Shane is still trying to piece together and understand exactly what has happened to him and what has transpired, he remains determined and committed to his success. His main motivation is to be home. We miss each other a lot and of course he misses his independence. 

The next phase in Shane’s recovery was to transfer him to a rehab unit for intensive therapies. The hospital I work at, Good Samaritan, has the Rehab institute of Oregon (RIO). It’s a highly respected and effective rehab program that helps individuals regain strength, independence and the needed modified skills to thrive and be safe in a home environment. On March 20th, we got the insurance approval and Shane was transferred to RIO! This will be the final hospital stop before Shane is able to come home!

Shane continues to blow us all away with his determination and willingness to work hard. While in rehab, Shane has a daily rigorous schedule that keeps him busy, builds his strength, confidence and agility. During this entire hospitalization he lost close to thirty pounds of mostly muscle weight. At first, simply keeping his head upright was a challenge. Now, Shane is walking down an entire hallway with the assistance of his physical therapist and a cane. In addition, just for an added challenge, Shane has had double vision since he woke up. The ophthalmologist and other Drs aren’t quite sure what has caused this but it adds to his fatigue and balance issues. We have been working on retraining and strengthening his eye muscles in hopes this will improve. 
Yesterday he had a half hour of massage to work on his extremely tight neck. His head had been in a similar position for weeks on end. This morning, Shane informed me that he woke up with clear vision. He no longer is seeing double!! We are both amazed and relieved. Aww, the power of body work! Miraculous. The miracles just keep coming! 

During a break in his schedule, I wheeled Shane out to the garden at Good Sam. This is the first time in over six weeks he has been outside. Needless to say, it was emotional for both of us. Tomorrow, I will bring our dog Ruby for a visit. We are both pretty excited about that. Each day brings big challenges met with even bigger triumphs. 

Shane continues and will continue to process the chaos and the nightmare of his reemergence back into life. It’s confusing and at times terrifying to think about. Other aspects are empowering and bring clarity to his situation. We will both be exploring this for a long time to come. I know counseling will be a top priority. Shane and I feel closer than we ever have. We appreciate each other more and all the love, light, prayers and support that have seen and will continue to see us through this process. I have no doubt that Shane’s tenacity and all the love from our families and community are what getting him through. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! ❤️

Brianna and Shane
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