On Memorial Day of this year, he was rushed to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with a number of health issues. Everything happened very fast. As an active person, he was stunned about what was happening to him and how quickly his body began to shut down.
He was admitted to Parkland on May 29 where he would stay for over 6 weeks – spending most of that time in the Intensive Care Unit. In short, his body was fighting a host of symptoms – diabetic ketoacidosis, a heart going into A fib, severe pneumonia, a rare bacterial strain, blood clots in his right leg and more. Shortly after his arrival to the hospital, he was placed in a medically induced coma for several days in order to give his body the strength it needed to fight the hurricane that was swirling through him.
Countless doctors, physicians’ assistants and nurses took incredible care of him at Parkland. But his condition baffled all of them. He was questioned and tested continuously as medical professionals tried to figure out what was causing his failing health. Finally, he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). It is a life-threatening condition that is extremely rare in adults. In fact, there are usually only two people diagnosed with this rare disease per year in Dallas County. Usually children.
As you might expect, Tom still has a long and tough road ahead of him. His muscles atrophied while he was in the coma. He lost the ability to walk and through inpatient and now outpatient therapy is working to regain strength in his muscles to help him relearn how to walk. Compounding this is that he also lost control of his dominant right side of his body. He can't lift his right leg off the bed as there's no strength to make it happen. And the top thigh muscles on the same leg are numb and unfeeling. So far.
Tom has been doing a great deal of physical therapy with much more to come. He's encouraged every day by his progress and fighting hard and will continue to do so. If you know Tom, you know that he doesn't do well sitting still. He's always on the go! But the doctors and therapists repeatedly tell him not to push himself too hard for fear of suffering further setbacks.
Unfortunately, all of this has prevented Tom from being able to work. And, of course, the bills are piling up. He's not great at asking for help, but if there’s any way you can help donate monetarily, it would be tremendously helpful and of course greatly appreciated.
Tom's family and Tom of course have been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the outpouring of love and support since all of this happened. They can never thank you enough.
- Joy Goodrum
- Nancy Wester
- Donald Hults
- Larry Miller
Organizer and beneficiary
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