Terry’s Story

Site created on June 28, 2020

Welcome to our CaringBridge website for Terry's pulmonary thromboendartectomy at UC San Diego Medical Center.

I'll be using this site to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your prayers and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Sonja Caywood

I write this on our 31st anniversary.  We've been home a week and a half.  Terry's gone through regret over having the surgery (I'm sure anyone who's had their sternum opened and heart and lungs messed with can attest to) to realizing that he's getting a bit better every day.  As someone who's used to staying busy, this process is teaching him patience.  He's walking further each day without O2 and learning to rest.  His dog Willy is by always his side.

We received the paperwork describing the surgery and it's an amazing read, even though I don't understand most of the language.  His surgery was nine hours long, and he was on cardiopulmonary bi-pass for a total 250 minutes (meaning his blood was pumped through a machine which oxygenated it, then pushed it back into his body, bypassing his own heart and lungs).  Terry was cooled to 20 degrees C (68 F) to produce hypothermic circulatory arrest (no heart function, no lung function, no blood pumping- pretty much the definition of dead in order to protect his organs and brain) for a total of 79 minutes!  (Now you know why I was so scared.)  He was in the best hands in the world, but God blessed it and made it successful.

The paperwork reveals what we already knew, that the specialty meds which made him well enough to have the surgery reduced his pulmonary pressures significantly, but at the rate his heart was pumping to get passed the occluded vessels and arteries nearly blocked by these scarred old blood clots, CTEPH would have taken him before his time.  Recovery is going to be long and he's learning to be patient with the hope that when he's healed he'll feel better than he's felt in 10 years.

Thanks again for your prayers, your concern, your reaching out and your kind gestures!  I cannot imagine going through something like this without the Lord, and without friends who know the  power of prayer.

This will be my last update, and I'll download and print all your messages for Terry to keep as a reminder that he is so loved.  On this our 31st anniversary, I love him more than ever and look forward to more than a few more years with him.  God Bless you all!
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