My step-dad, John Lefever, has been in the ICU since June 15, 2016, trying to recover from a Hemorrhagic Aneurysm in the cerebellum part of his brain.
It all started on Monday, June 13th, 2016 when John woke up in the middle of the night very confused. When trying to stand up, John lost his balance and fell. The next day, Tuesday, June 15th 2016, John was complaining of severe neck pain, which drove him to go to the ER at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. Initially they thought he had pulled or strained something in his neck. However, a CT scan found that John had a ruptured aneurysm. Their attempt to fix the aneurysm in Springfield, MO was unsuccessful. John needed a difficult procedure and one of the few surgeons in the country that performs the procedure needed is located in St. Louis, MO. John was airlifted to St. Louis on June 16th, 2016. Over the next few days, the neurological team in St. Louis worked to get him stabilized enough to undergo the procedure that he needed to save his life. On June 20th, 2016, the surgery to remove the aneurysm was performed. Since that time John has remained in the neuro ICU, fighting for his life. He has had several other life-saving procedures in the time he has been in the ICU - 14 separate procedures to date.
John is still not very responsive. He cannot lift his head, sit up, or move his legs. He is on a feeding tube, has a trach, and is on a ventilator. He is on three different antibiotics, one for pneumonia, and two to combat the systemic infections he has contracted while being in the hospital. Occasionally John is able to open his eyes and he tries to respond for just a moment, but then he goes back to sleep.
On July 14th, 2016 John will undergo another procedure. During this procedure, the neurosurgeon will implant a permanent shunt in John’s brain that will help to combat the extra fluid that is still being produced. The shunt will draw fluid from his brain and drain it into his stomach where it can be absorbed by his body. Once John is stable enough after the shunt implant procedure, he will be moved from the neuro ICU at the hospital to a Long Term Acute Care Center (LTAC) in St. Louis, MO. The long term hope is for some recovery, but there is only a small probability that he will ever be "John" again. Some serious life changes are in store for John and Sharon (my mom).
Since John was the main bread winner for their family, the loss of income has had a profound effect on my mom, Sharon Roberts. Like many of us, due to previous medical bills, the mortgage, etc., they were living pay check to pay check before this happened. My mom has been unable to meet their current financial needs and pay the bills with just her income. Her best option at this point is to try to sell their house and find an inexpensive apartment or small house that she can afford to rent. John’s medical bills are growing larger and larger every day, and they are looking at even more medical bills once he is moved to the LTAC facility, possibly reaching John’s lifetime maximum on his medical insurance. On top of everything else, Sharon has to travel back and forth from Springfield, MO to St. Louis, MO each week to be with John, resulting in time away from her work as well as additional expenses.
If you feel it in your heart to help my mom and step-dad, please do so. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers and any financial assistance you can provide to John and Sharon.
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