Support for Greg's Family
Greg underwent cardiothoracic surgery on his heart in September 2014 to replace a faulty valve. He was in the hospital for almost two months, after being discharged he had to have 6 weeks of intense IV antibiotics.
Greg had been in the hospital in Febuary earlier this year, he had dropped something on his big toe, lost his toenail, ended up getting a Staph infection, he was in the hospital for about 2 weeks, and had to do outpatient antibiotics at Abbott for 6 weeks.
Since then, Greg had been doing well, had been trying to find himself and figure out a new career. Greg had always done concrete finishing but had been encouraged by the doctors to find a less physically intense job. He had been exploring returning to school to become a machinist.
Greg began feeling a little sick on Sunday 07/24, he just said he felt off and thought him might have a cold. He began vomiting late Sunday/early Monday and thought that maybe he had gotten food poisoning. He was not having any of the symptoms he had last time with his heart, so he did not even think that it was a possibility. The highest fever he had was 100 degrees, he had no edema (fluid retention/swelling) no bad joint pain, etc.
Jill finally convinced him to go into the doctor on Tuesday night around 11:00 pm. He was still adamant that it was not his heart and said any hospital was fine, he was just sick of throwing up, and wanted to get better. They went to West Health knowing that it feeds in Abbott Northwestern incase if it was his heart.
Immediately 8 medical staff flooded the room, taking, vitals, trying to put in an IV (he was so dehydrated from throwing up), giving him fluids and trying to stabilize him, etc. They told him that they thought it was his heart and an ambulance would be coming to take him to Abbott.
Greg was insistent that Jill goes home and gets some rest; she could come check on him in the morning since she doesn’t work on Wednesdays. He loves her so very much, and didn't want her to worry.
On Wednesday Greg's vitals were looking O.K. but his extremities were freezing cold, he wasn’t getting enough blood flow. There was a vegetation on his heart valve the staph infection had been attacking his vital organs. He went into kidney and liver failure. Wednesday night they decided they would begin to start dialysis for him.
They started with one 3-4 hour dialysis for him, typically a 3-4 hour process is more intense than the slow 24/7-dialysis process, but they did not want to have to completely sedate him if it could be avoided. They think that intense dialysis might have been too much for his body to handle since was so sick. He started declining and he began to get "foggy" he understood he was at the hospital, but didn’t really know what was going on.
The doctors decided that they needed to do something and they needed to do it fast. They intubated him, and took him down to the catheter lab, they preformed a procedure where they sent a balloon into his heart to blow his heart valve open. They said a leak is much better to deal with then a block. The team of doctors was hoping with increased blood flow that the tissue of his extremities would improve.
Greg has been showing stable vitals overall considering his state, his cultures are coming back negative for Staph, however the doctors feel that the Staph it is "hiding out" in his heart tissue. Right now he is simply too weak for open-heart surgery, he is still in liver and kidney failure and having 24/7 dialysis. He is intubated on a breathing tube, and they started a feeding tube on 07/31. The tissue in his extremities is very damaged, they are hopeful for regeneration, however he may be facing multiple amputations. The main goal for Greg's health right now is to give his body strength and support; he needs to get strong enough to have a potential open-heart surgery. He will have a very long road ahead of him, possible lifelong dialysis/ organ transplants, amputations and physical therapy to offset those, etc.
As a family, our goals are to support Greg, to surround him with love, kindness, and prayers. Jill and Greg have been together going on 6 years in September. Our family attends Church of the Open Door, so many people are praying for him. Any money we raise will go directly to helping pay for things for his support system, i.e. allowing Jill to take some extra time off of work to be down here at the hospital for him, bills, those everyday costs (gas, parking, etc.) Greg has really great insurance so this money will go to helping his support system stay strong, and lessen the financial burden on his family.
Thank you for any support, even if you can only send spiritual support or positive energy, we so appreciate it!