Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

When we started this caring bridge, we had hoped to provide details of John's journey toward recovery. John's life story has been one of great adventures, love, and incredible relationships. We are heartbroken to share today's update and have stumbled to move through tears and find the appropriate words. John's heart stopped beating today. His medical team made every effort to restore his heart beat, as they have grown to love John too. Unfortunately, John's life story ends today. But wherever his next ride takes him, we find comfort in knowing he is pedaling his ass off and happy to be free.
We hope that you continue to be inspired by how he lived.
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Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

Fourth of July.

Every day brings another challenge. Late yesterday John’s heart rate dropped low again. Luckily I was not there to witness this, I was at the hotel taking a shower to get ready to go back to watch the news with him, our date time. There was a scramble to get him stable and I am certain I would not have done well. The staff did an excellent job I can not say enough good things about them.

Medications to keep his blood pressure up, medication to increase his heart rate, respiratory therapy every two hours with cough assist and suction. Labs for numerous things. Still working on cleaning out his blood to get the swelling down. The drugs keeping his heart rate up are working so no talk of a pacemaker for now - maybe an external pacer? Lab reports will be done today with the results for white cell count etc.

I sometimes feel I am giving too much information. I am not sure what you all want to know. 😕

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

July 3.

The pacemaker is now scheduled for 11:30 today. John’s kidney function is slowly improving.

He has not been responsive for a week. If the nurse hollers his name loud enough he will open his eyes. All I wish for now is for him to be able to look at and recognize me.

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

July 2

Maybe it’s his age - because whatever can happen is happening. Although John is stable and getting excellent care, with each new day comes a new issue. His heart rate drops too often and they have to give him medicine to help control that issue. A cardiologist has been consulted, and the doctors decided a pacemaker was the best way to go.

They will place that in John today around 4. It’s not a bad thing, it will be there to kick in if needed.

John’s response to me is slow, but he will smile when he knows I am here. The trauma PA said it’s not uncommon for it to take a couple of days to get all the drugs out of his system so he can be more responsive.

I don’t know enough medical stuff to know if what I hear is true or even if I am explaining it all correctly. I am learning new terms every day. The new term of the day is “blow-by.” Respiratory Tim will wean him off the ventilator and on to blow-by (just air) to breath on his own. He has been doing well with self breathing. Although his lungs still fill with junk and Tim or Tiffany give him cough assist treatments.

I wish I could say we are on our way to Craig’s for rehabilitation. One moment, one hour, one day at a time.

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

A new month.

No update yesterday because there were no good changes to report. His three buddies from home took a road trip to see him. John knew they were at his side but he was not able to respond. I am certain he loved hearing their voices and their stories along with words of encouragement.

His mother, brother, and eldest daughter were also at his side for the last several days. All the love helps.

The staff are on top of his care, so no worries in that area.

As for the medical aspects, I will try my best to share. He is off of the fentanyl drip and on Oxy that is given through the feeding tube. The IV bag is gone and fluids and nutrition are given through the feeding tube. His kidneys are making urine. His heart rate dropped into the 20’s last night when he was being moved. Hemoglobin at 6.5 - tests were done and there is no internal bleeding. I hope that goes up today.

There are so many medical things that keep happening that prevent him from moving on to rehabilitation. We will get there later rather than sooner.

As for me, I am waiting for him to be able to communicate again. This definitely will be the hardest road he will ever travel.

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

June 29

Another bad day. John has not been responding for two days. We were told his kidneys are not functioning well and he is now uremic. I had to look all this up even after it was explained to me.

His lungs were suctioned out again but the fluid keeps building up. His lower extremities are swollen. As explained to me by the nephrologist, they have to reverse this process. He is still making urine. A CT scan has been ordered on his abdomen.

I am worried.

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

It’s been two weeks today.

John is calm and very quiet, he will answer you with a nod when he feels like it. I am afraid he is feeling sad - but that’s just me projecting my emotions on to him. It could be medical, he may not be feeling well because his kidney function is now messed up. The doctors are working on that.

At least he is not struggling with dry mouth or struggling to breathe. John is getting excellent care from the staff in the intensive care unit.

Plans are still going forward to travel to the rehab center in Colorado as soon as next week. That’s if no other medical emergencies come up.

Journal entry by Melissa Hanzsek-Brill

From Susan:
No change from yesterday he is still intubated but breathing On his own the machine is still hooked up just in case he stops breathing it will kick in. He can respond to my commands he knows I am here today he had difficulty squeezing hands and does not feel anything in his legs this is expected because of the swelling after surgery on his spinal cord he knows I am here and can nod yes and no I think he understands his condition which is really sad for him but he is being sedated and resting I will deal with the emotional issues of this accident when that time comes he will be as overwhelmed as I am by all the support
John’s Story

Site created on June 16, 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 June 14, 2019  John Egbers was struck by a car around 5:15pm while competing in the Trans Am Bike Race. He was about 12 miles west of Scott City KS (Milemarker 2200) racing in 31st place. John was transported to a local hospital in Scott City and then airlifted to a trauma center (Wesley Medical Center) in Wichita.  He sustained multiple injuries including a C6-7 fracture, a broken leg and arm, and many lacerations and bruises.