Joe’s Story

Site created on September 23, 2020

The pandemic has hit closer to home for the Dickenson family than we had ever imagined. Joe(Dad), started experiencing a very hard cough on Monday, Sept. 7th. He visited the VA and was tested for Covid-19 and tested positive. He spent the next 6 days caring for his symptoms and trying to boost his immune system with supplement and lots of rest.

On Sunday Sept. 13th, he started experiencing shortness of breath and was having trouble breathing in general. His Dr. had mentioned that if he were to experience this to get to the hospital as fast as possible. He was able to connect with a friend and was able to get there quickly.

After being admitted he was started on fluids and given oxygen to increase his Oxygen saturation to a stabile level. The Dr. and nurse team ran a chest X-ray to ensure that he didn’t have Pneumonia. They were able to rule out pneumonia at that time and start keeping him comfortable and safe.

On his second day in the hospital, his care team started administering the trial drug Remdesivir Intravenously. During the 5 days he was receiving the drug, there were many symptoms of COVID and Side effects that became his everyday. Up and down Fever, Chills that seemed like they lasted all day, waking up in cold sweats, loss of appetite, an aggressive cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms continued until Friday when they determined that he may have a bacterial infection in his lungs. Fortunately, the chills and fever subsided by this point. Unfortunately, He started to again have oxygen saturation problems and was put back on oxygen and was given a steroid to help with his breathing strength. By Sunday early morning, Sept. 20th, the Dr. and care team moved him to the ICU due to his Oxygen saturation situation not getting better. He was put on 2 broad spectrum antibiotics to combat his bacterial lung infection, high flow Oxygen and was started on another 5 day stint of Remdesivir. Quickly his oxygen levels stabilized and since then his care team have felt that he is doing good and continues to fight the virus. He still battles a cough and shortness of breath, but for the most part he is getting decent sleep and eating the most he possibly can.

As of 9/22, he has received a convalescent plasma treatment, continues to get a steroid to help with breathing and his care team believes he no longer is battling the bacterial infection, which means he will no longer be on antibiotics.

The Dickenson family have been delivering him care packages (treats, personal care items, cards, picture and supplements) and making sure that he knows he isn’t alone in this battle even though we can’t be physically there with him. Our dad, bends over backwards for pretty much anyone he has ever made a connection with and this whole situation makes it very difficult help him as much as we can.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Leah Dickenson

Dad gets to go home today!!!! I just spoke with him and he’s very excited to be well enough to go home. He’ll still have a bit until he feels back to 100% but they have a plan for him with his daily exercises and knows breathing techniques to help him when he gets short of breath. We are all so happy and grateful for his recovery! 
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