Joey’s Story

Site created on January 14, 2019

How do you summarize a complicated case like Joey's? In April of 2016, Joey was on tour when he felt very sick in the middle of the night and asked the bus driver to drop him off at a hospital in Louisiana. Within 24 hours, one little gallstone led to a severe case of pancreatitis that landed him in the ICU with sepsis and in kidney failure. 

Since then, we've been dealing with the fallout from this initial case. Among other things, it's led to: 

-5 major surgeries with 40+ staples each time and hard recoveries
-Over 150 days inpatient in the hospital 
-Over 20 drains in his abdomen
-Dozens of outpatient procedures

The problem that persists is that his pancreas is still leaking since half of it is dead. No doctor has been able to contain the leak, and surgeries that attempted to remove the tail of the pancreas have been unsuccessful because of all the trauma his body has been through (the doctor described it as "concrete like adhesions.")

Our current cycle is:
Intervention is attempted and a drain placed to drain the leak --> things are under control --> drain gets removed --> back in the hospital within a week 

Major surgery #4 was 3.6.19 and removed the tail of his pancreas, his spleen, his stomach, and half of his large intestine to control the leak.

He started having complications a few days later, so on the morning of 3.12.19, he had emergency surgery where they discovered a perforated bowel. He now has an ostomy bag and a complex wound that will take some extra time to heal.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Bekah Eaker

That’s the new 2019 record for staying out of the hospital. But, unfortunately, we’re back in the hospital today. 

After on-and-off fevers this weekend, we came into the ER this morning when his temp spiked again. Initial tests show he has a UTI, but because it’s Joey and he has a history of sepsis, they’re going to admit him while cultures grow to make sure there’s nothing more nefarious going on. Based on past experiences, he’ll probably be here for 4-5 days. 

That short wave of feeling good has ended abruptly, and I’m hoping this isn’t too much of a setback overall. 
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