Kelsey’s Story

Site created on June 9, 2018

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Journal entry by Kelsey Ferguson

As some of you may have known, Scott hadn't been feeling well for the past several weeks. He was dealing with cough, body aches, fever, joint aches and many more symptoms. We thought that we were close to a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis but it turned out to be an inflammatory disease called vasculitis (Wegner's). I had been admitted on Monday to Abbott Northwestern Hospitals Mother Baby Center due to our high risk pregnancy. He went home after visiting me that night and before bed, was coughing up blood and couldn't catch his breath. He ended up going to the ER by our house and they admitted him but they don't have a lung specialist there so they transferred him up here, to Abbott.

He was admitted to the ICU on Tuesday morning and I was able to see him right away. He was given a steroid drip and starting to feel a little better. His joints weren't aching anymore, he was able to move his fingers without pain and enjoyed standing up and sitting without being in excruciating pain anymore. Tuesday afternoon they moved him from the ICU into a regular room. I was able to get escorted from my room to see him twice a day for a couple hours at a time on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was still having a really hard time getting his oxygen levels up and was getting really frustrated. I knew it would take some time for him to get better but we thought he would get discharged on Thursday or Friday. 

I didn’t sleep well Wednesday night and he didn’t either so we both napped in the morning on Thursday and I text him and asked him to call me when he woke up. I didn’t hear from him but I didn’t want to call him in case he had finally fallen asleep.

On Thursday around 1:00pm, while my friend Stephanie was visiting me, I got a call from Scott's doctor that they were transferring him back to the ICU.  He was having a really difficult time breathing and getting his oxygen levels up.  Steph and I went down there and they told me they needed to put in a central line into his neck because they were going to do a procedure similar to dialysis where they would take out his blood, clean it, and put it back.  I was able to see him and call my mom to have her come down to be with me. Before they could even do that, they needed to sedate and intubate him. At this point they sent me back to my room.  I got a call from his doctors a little later that his lungs were so much worse than they anticipated so they needed to put him on lung bypass to give his lungs a break and let the machine breathe for him for a few days.  So I rushed back to authorize the bypass. But, in the process of putting him on lung bypass, Scott went into cardiac arrest.  They had called me, and again I rushed back down. By the time they called they had already been doing CPR for 30 minutes. When they told me that, I thought he was already gone. They said, because he is young and strong, they would try CPR for another hour to get him back. My mom and I set a timer and sat in the hall outside the OR and stared at the door. They came back about 45 min later and said they had gotten a pulse.  At that point they told us they would be moving him up to the CICU (cardiac ICU) so they escorted my mom and I to a private waiting room on the CICU floor.  They told me Scott would be up in about 20 minutes once he was stable.  By this time, my mom had called my family and they had come to be there for Scott. We waited several hours and had gotten a couple updates that they were still trying to stabilize him enough to transfer him from the cath lab to the CICU. They were finally able to bring him up around 10:00 PM and I was able to see him as they wheeled him by. Then the doctor came in to give us an update on his condition letting us know that he was not stable and they very concerned about the lack of oxygen for the hour they did CPR and that he had multiple blood transfusions. He was very blunt but we needed that. Looking back I think that the other doctors were really sugar coating his condition and how bad it was. I really didn't know how sick he was. If he did have any sort of recovery it would be at the very least weeks in the CICU and that is would be days before we would know what level of brain activity he had. After speaking to the doctor I was able to go and be with Scott for a bit. They were worried about me and the baby so they had a nurse come over and monitor the baby in our private waiting room and baby looked fine. They told me to try and get some sleep around midnight.  Shortly after, the doctor came and said they couldn't stop the bleeding in his lungs and there was nothing more they could do. They wheeled me in to be with Scott. In his final moments I was able to tell him how much I loved him, how much our son loved him, hold his hand, give him a hug and just be with him. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I didn't want to leave him but after almost fainting a few times and dry heaving, my mom and sister wheeled me back to my own hospital room at Mother Baby Center. 

Our families are still in shock and struggling to accept that we have lost such a wonderful man, son, brother, husband, dad and friend. 

He will be dearly missed by family, friends and anyone who has ever who met him.

Due to the soon to be arrival of his son, the memorial date will be set for a later time.

Please leave comments here on the caring bridge so that we can all read the wonderful memories of Scott and how he had changed each of our lives.

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