Team Jessica

Hi everyone, this is Jessica’s husband, Brad. I’m sure you’re all curious as to what has been going on and I’m sorry I haven’t been forward about it. Between Willa and the kids and juggling everything I haven’t really been ready to give an adequate update on everything but I’ll try now.

We went into the hospital the day Willa was born because Jessica was very short of breath. They determined that she had preeclampsia and that’s why they decided we should have Willa that night. After Willa was born Jessica seemed to be doing a bit better. She got up to go see Willa about 5 hours after the birth and was very happy.

The next day she started having breathing trouble again and was very scared. Anytime she moved, her blood pressure would spike and she would find it harder to breathe. At one point she started to really panic and the next thing I knew, about 10 doctors rushed in and they sent her up to the ICU. It turns out that Jessica had double pneumonia and a heart condition called cardio-myopathy. Jessica’s lungs were completely shutting down and her heart was not beating as strong as it should have been.

She’s been on an ECMO machine to help keep her oxygenated while her lungs heal and they’ve let her heart beat it’s own natural beat in order for it to get stronger, and it has been getting stronger and stronger. Her lungs are starting to heal up really well and at an increasing pace. She now has good volumes on the airflow to her lungs and if she keeps making the same amount of progress that she has been this past week than she will be off of the ECMO and awake within a week. The doctors have kept her on sedatives and paralytics for her comfort so she’s been asleep since the 19th. For a few days when everything started happening she was able to communicate with us through shaking her head “yes” and “no” and because she is a pharmacist, the doctors were able to tell her exactly what drugs they were giving her which noticeably made her feel at ease. She was starting to get visibly agitated and uncomfortable with everything happening so the doctors have had her heavily sedated because they do not want this to be something she can remember, as it can be a traumatic experience for many people to experience while conscious.

The important thing is that Jessica is stable, she’s in the care of an INCREDIBLE team of doctors and nurses, and her progress towards recovery is unfolding at an increasingly rapid pace. She will be in the hospital for a while still and I will let everyone know when she is ready for visitors. If you would like to send her a card, you can send me a direct message and I will give you our address and I can deliver them to her. We don’t have any sort of gofundme setup but people have suggested I set one up so if I do (or if someone with the know-how wouldn’t mind setting it up for me!) I will post that in the comments of this post.

We’ve had so much incredible support since everything began and I really appreciate everyone who has helped out. Willa is doing great and the kids love her so much. Damian is already yelling at anyone who gets too close to her and he’s so thrilled to be a big brother to get another little sister.

I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated on Jessica’s progress going forward. This is going to be a long process with ups and downs, but with everyone’s support and understanding I know Jessica will continue to make amazing progress.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Mandy Pociask 
McHenry, IL
Bradley Johnson 
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