Laura Adams(Tull) Recovery

Hi, I'm the spouse of Laura Christine Adams(Tull). We just celebrated the beginning of our seventh year of our marriage and the entry of our daughter into our lives.

While my wife was pregnant she had developed issues with gallstones. In pregnancy this is a common occurrence as your body is reacting to all of the changes within pregnancy. It was nothing to be concerned about, and they couldn't go in an surgically intervene because it would have significantly taxed Josephine while she was in utero.

On December 6th Laura started having significant abdominal pain. The pain at that time was due to a suspected gallbladder attack. She suffered through attacks for nearly three days until the morning of December 9th.

That morning, Laura woke me up saying, "Darin, something has gone wrong. We gotta go." At that time, Laura and I went to the ER in Central Iowa Healthcare. Once arriving it was determined that it was necessary to perform an emergency C-section in order to remove Josephine. From the time the C-section was called until when it was performed was 8 minutes. Josephine was born at 8:07 am.




She was born healthy, and at that time Laura was doing okay too.  She was a little tired from emergency surgery but all was going well. That didn't last long though. As they day entered into the night Laura's condition declined. Her heart rate increased, and she started developing a severe fever. At that time it was speculated that Laura had developed pancreatitis.

Laura stayed in Labor and Delivery for less than a day and was then transferred to the ICU in Central Iowa Healthcare. She was being kept stable but her condition didn’t improve. She was then sent to Mary Greeley Medical Center because she couldn’t receive the care she needed in Central Iowa Healthcare.

While at Mary Greeley Medical Center she was given a CT scan in order to find out what was going on. It was quickly determined that she had developed acute necrosis of the pancreas. This condition was beyond the medical care that Mary Greeley Medical Center could provide and she was immediately air evacuated to the University of Iowa Hospitals(UofI).

Laura was then admitted to the Medical Intensive Care Unit(MICU) and they started trying to figure out what was going on. They had determined at that time that around 45% of her pancreas had died and her body was reacting to that trauma. The hope at that time is that she would recover. Laura spent two weeks in the MICU and over the course of that two weeks she suffered through several infections, going into supraventricular tachycardia, delirium and many other complications. She was recovering though.

Laura was then transferred to the Respiratory Speciality and Critical Care Unit(RSCCU). Laura spent one week at RSCCU she continued to show signs of improvement, was walking more regularly, and slowly but surely coming back. She had fought off the infections and was continuing to recover.

Laura was then transferred to the Acute Rehab Facility at Covenant Hospital to face an uphill battle in her recovery. Laura ended up spending less than a day at rehab as she started to show a significant temperature, and her heart rate was once again racing. As her condition developed it was decided to send her back to the UofI via air evacuation. That was the last time I heard my wife’s voice, the last time I felt her squeeze my hand, the moment my life would change forever.

Upon arriving at the UofI she was sent immediately to the emergency room to undergo an operation. The doctors didn’t know what was going on only that she was very sick. After the surgery we started to get a picture of what had happened.

What is believed happened is that her pancreas ruptured or burst. This ended up spreading infection throughout her body. The infection got into her blood vessels that fed the lower colon. As the lower colon wasn’t getting blood it died and perforated. Her abdomen when they went into surgery was full of fecal matter, infected fluids, dead tissue, and dying tissue. Through the surgery they removed as much of that stuff as they could.

Due to the infections Laura will end up losing at least a foot of her colon. She will have to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life. Laura also had to have her pancreas removed. The whole pancreas was dead and it needed to go. As a result she will be insulin dependant for the rest of her life.  

It is unknown at this time if the other organs in that area are impacted by the infection. When they did the last surgery there was soo much damage they couldn’t see what else was impacted. They couldn’t even find her gallbladder to remove it.

In Laura’s immediate future is several more surgeries to continue to remove dead or infected tissue. She is currently in a medically induced coma as she cannot breathe on her own because she went into respiratory failure. Machines at this time are doing everything from breathing for her, keeping her blood pressure up, collecting urine, collecting bowel movements, and many other functions of living.

In Laura’s long term future is an acute long term rehabilitation facility. There are a few located in Iowa but none are located near to where we live so we will need to move. We will need to sell a car, and change everything. I have no idea how much this will end up costing. I have no idea when this will end. I have no idea if my wife will live as the current mortality is 50/50.

The funds that are donated will go to the care of Laura at the rehabilitation facility, at the hospital, and for the care of her daughter. All remaining funds will be donated to the American Pancreatic Association to hopefully help others with similar conditions.

How did this start?

A gallstone fell from her gallbladder into the common bile duct . It’s speculated that this stone blocked the passage of fluid through the common bile duct. The liver, gallbladder, and pancreas continued to produce enzymes and fluids as they normally do but the fluids couldn’t flush into the intestine. The fluids started to build up and entered the first organ it could - the pancreas. This caused an infection and inflammation in Laura’s pancreas.

How bad is it?

Laura’s condition right now is the worst that the University of Iowa Hospitals has ever seen. They see necrosis of the pancreas on a regular basis. Laura’s is that bad.

How is Josephine?


Josephine right now is getting excellent care. She is loved by many and is being cared for by Laura’s family. She is a beautiful, strong, and independent young lady that really hates it when her hat covers her eyes.

Why should I donate to you?

I wish I had a good answer for this. I do. There are many people that need help and we are just one of many.

Who are you and who is she?

Darin Adams

I am Darin Adams, I have spent my entire life serving my country in one capacity or another until present day. I joined the military shortly after college and spent 6 years in the active duty as an Infantrymen. Upon leaving the military, I enrolled in college. I successfully earned my AA and my BA within 3.5 years. While I was in college I created veterans organizations, created scholarships, created positions for veteran support staff, ran some of the largest events on my college's campuses, built some of the largest groups on my college's campuses, raised service dogs, continued serving in the reserve, helped work on legislation for veterans, and of course as if I wasn’t busy enough I worked 30-40 hours a week.

Upon graduating college I worked as a manager at a Wal-Mart for several months until an opportunity opened up for me to grow. I then transitioned back into civil service and have been in civil service since then.

Laura Adams

Laura has spent her life pursuing her dreams of making people's lives better. She attended Wartburg College shortly after graduating high school and started to pursue her degree in Music Therapy. Her dream was always to work with veterans and help their condition improve. Laura graduated along with me and we moved onto our life. Laura worked at a St. Jude Hospice and at Rieman Music right out of college. She worked to build a program for music therapy at Rieman and secured several contracts for them. She ended up getting her dream job as a music therapist helping veterans at the Iowa Veterans Home not to long after college. She had achieved her dream job and that was amazing for her. She continued to do some work on the side for REM Iowa as a music therapist helping those that had developmental delays or special needs. That was her Laura before all of this happened. She was great at it. She loved what she did and hopefully she will go back to it, someday.

Donations

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  • Daniel Nehmer 
    • $250 
    • 45 mos
  • Randy Shebek 
    • $25 
    • 46 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Phil Hoehlein 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
  • Marvin and Sue Hrubes 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
See all

Organizer

Darin Adams 
Organizer
Waterloo, IA
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