Mary Handley's Medical Fund
Mary Handley went into Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago July 3rd 2015 for a bowel obstruction. They determined a section of her lower intestine had to be removed due to inflammation
possibly caused by diverticulitis.
The following facts are in order as they occurred:
July 4th - Removed section of lower intestine and installed a colostomy bag on her side. This was to be temporary for 3 months to heal. Another surgery would be scheduled to remove the bag and the intestine routed back to normal.
- Surgeon informed us surgery went perfect.
July 5th - 2.30am - Received a call from the hospital saying Mom took a turn for the worse. Blood pressure crashing and lost the ability to breath on her own. Not sure why.
Started Mom on blood pressure stabilizers and breathing machine.
Broad spectrum antibiotics started.
July 6th - Condition worsening. Surgeon informed us Mom needs another surgery immediately to find what the problem may be. Risky but necessary.
A second surgery was performed. Surgeon says a leak was found and repaired where the colostomy bag seals to the skin. A second colostomy bag was also installed. Bacteria that has seeped in her abdomen and infection was spreading was removed.
July 7th - Slight improvement but vitals still unstable. Mom still unconscious.
July 8th - CT scan results show another leak when the intestine was stitched together. Condition worsening. Surgeon says a third surgery is required to repair leak and drain the newly found bacteria. More risk but we would lose her if not performed.
- 2 liters of bacteria were removed from her abdomen
and two additional drain tubes were installed. Vitals improving but blood pressure still needs support.
July 9th - Still waiting for any sign of improvement. Noticed small things like a cool cloth on forehead and kisses on her forehead help lower heart rate.
July 10th - Progress slow. Another CT scan needed to check abdomen and head for any signs of trouble.
July 11th - CT scan shows fluid in the left lung. Pneumonia has set in. Mom running a fever. More antibiotics given.
July 12th - Condition improving but Mom still unresponsive. Started a nutrition tube in her nose.
July 13th - More cool cloths, lots of kisses and prayers.
July 14th - Mom wakes at times and nodes to answer simple questions. Doctor informs us her liver output is no good. More tests.
July 15th - More kisses, praying and playing Motown music for her. Nutrition increased.
July 16th - Mom unresponsive again. Still cannot breath on her own. Stomach incision opened up. Doctors can do nothing due to risk of infection. Wound covered with wet dressings.
July 17th - Running fever again. Nutrition cut back due to lack of absorption. Still on breathing machine and unresponsive. Possible tracheotomy needed if Mom can not get off the vent.
Mom is 74 years old and on a fixed income. The medical bills have already surpassed $300,000 and there is still a long way to go.
We are hoping everyone who reads this can give what they can to help her in her time of need.
All her life she has saved pop can lids for childrens kidney dialysis, volunteered at the local food pantry, donated to goodwill, saved coupons for people in need and a volunteer candy stripe at Gary Methodist Hosptial.
She is a wonderful Mother, Grandmother & Sister to 7 brothers & sisters.
We love her so much words cannot express.
Any donation you can make would be greatly appreciated.
Please help if you can,
Her sons: Michael , John and Stephen
*** Updates now appear at the top of the post.
I want to thank each & everyone for praying for my recovery. Also, I want to thank everyone who donated to my Go Fund Me page. It was a miracle that I'm alive. The doctors told all my boys that they had done everything for me and for the boys to start making funeral arrangements for me.
I never realized how many people cared.
Thanks again for your prayers & donations.
God Bless You,
Started her on solid foods now. She is eating pancakes, grilled cheese and soups! Much better than tube feeding.
Her trache has been changed twice to a smaller version. Yesterday they completely capped off the trache and she is breathing normally for the first time in almost 2 months. Tomorrow if things go well, they may remove the trache completely.
The next hurdles are to get her nutrition and exercise levels improving. She can not move around very well or stand. Her muscles are so weak, it will take time to build them back up.
I still can't believe she pulled through this and is now talking to us! What a miracle!!!
I know she likes all the visitors now that she is local again.
Thanks again to everyone for their prayers and support.
Michael, John & Stephen
She now has the speaking valve in her trache and she can talk! It is so nice to here her voice again and believe me...she is making up for all the silence!
Today they started her on soft foods. She hasn't tasted anything in over a month. This morning she had cream of mushroom soup, peaches and a coke. The coke had a thickener in it but she said it was still like heaven :)
Thank you to all for your prayers. Mom is very flattered by all the support she has received.
The journey is not over yet. She still has to relearn how to walk, and hold things. She is still very weak but I believe the most difficult parts are behind us.
Thanks again for everything,
Michael, John & Stephen
She still has the trachea but all the breathing is on her own. Today the doctors were discussing to try to feed her things like applesauce, pudding and jello to get her swallowing again. She has had nothing, other than tube feeding for over a month now. I know she will be happy about that.
There is only one more surgery to go and that is the skin graph. once that has been done, they are talking about releasing her from the hospital and moving her to a rehabilitation facility. Mom still has to practice things like writing, holding things, walking and all the little things we take for granted.
She has been sick for a long time.
We spend 8 hours with her yesterday and she was wide awake and alert. Its tough trying to read her lips but as the hours past, it got easier. I know she will be glad to have the trachea removed. I'm sure she has a lot to say!
I want to thank everyone again for their continued support and prayers. I hope these posts have never bothered or annoyed anyone. We were just trying to do anything we could to help her and communicate her progress to her friends.
Michael, John & Stephen
I'm a friend of Mary's. Just found out that she was so sick. It breaks my heart to see her like this. We worked together for a few years and became good friends. We would laugh so hard and had a good time at work. Seen Mary last year and enjoyed our lunch and talking about the good times we had. I hope everyone can please say a prayer for her recovery. I know she is in Gods hands now. Love you Mary. Faye
This is a Very Remarkable Woman and I feel so blessed to be in her life, she is a wonderful Grandma to my son and we all Love her So Much. She has touched so many people with her super bubbly personality and she will keep you entertained for hours. I cant wait to see her back on her feet dancing and singing to her favorite Motown hits, Love You So Much Momma and You are in my prayers and thoughts every day.
You look so good. I love the new hair. It looks so good. Short and white. Love it. Would love to come and visit some day. Love and miss you Mary. Take care and God Bless you ... Faye
I am so greatful to all of you for praying and donating to my moms cause. Thank you all so much. I will never forget you!