Hello Friends & Family, this is our GOFUNDME fundraising account to help raise money to offset the medical bills and to assist with our expenses that are accumulating quickly for Brian's life saving care and treatment. From what we have gathered, Brian's recovery will likely take months to years, and involve speech, physical therapy and medication to help him get back to where we hope he can be. Online research suggest that initial and long term cost of recovery from West Nile Virus with Acute Flaccid Paralysis is $439,000 and Encephalitis is $324,000. We are setting an initial goal of $500,000.
Also, we ask that at this time, people refrain from sending flowers (ICU does not allow flowers) and instead consider making a comfortable donation to Brian's GOFUNDME account
Thank you for all of your concern, love and support and please continue to help keep hope alive for this amazing man's incredible spirit.
How we got here:
Brian was admitted to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago Illinois on Monday September 12th at approximately 1pm after experiencing a constant headache for a period of at least 24 hours. Seven days prior to this, Brian had experienced a headache, aches and pains, chills and possibly a light fever which we assumed and treated as a mild case of the flu. It lasted for 2 days before he returned to work as usual.
Upon walking into the ER, Brian's case was immediately prioritized as it became apparent that he was suddenly having trouble with speech and word recall. He was quickly assessed by a stroke team, neurologist, had a CT scan, X Rays and Lumbar Puncture to draw spinal fluid. We were told that his spinal fluid indicated that he is fighting off some type of infection and that the scans detected swelling of the brain. We were also told that this seemed to be an unusual case and would take time to determine a specific diagnosis.
Symptoms progressed quickly on day one and by midnight, Brian was nearly completely nonverbal and his motor abilities were significantly diminished. The last time he walked was when he walked into the ER Monday afternoon. By Tuesday morning, he had been moved from the ER to his first hospital room and then upgraded two more times, once to a higher level of care floor and lastly to the ICU where he is now. At this point, Brian shows few if any signs that he is aware of what is happening to him. This is a blessing on one hand and terrible in every other sense because it's hard to tell what's going on and we miss the sound of his voice and knowing that we have his attention. I believe that he was aware that I was with him through Tuesday evening and when his family arrived from New Jersey because he was able to look in our direction and grasp our hands with his left hand.
Initially, doctors were assessing for stroke, then meningitis, then encephalitis caused by West Nile Virus due to his recent travel and exposure to large populations of mosquitoes in two separate locations in Michigan over 2 back to back weekends. As of Wednesday, doctors have ruled out meningitis so we are no longer required to wear face masks in the hospital room. It could take up to a week to get lab results back that will hopefully tell us what we're dealing with and until then we wait and take care of him the best that we can. The treatment team is doing their finest job to keep him comfortable and to address his multiple neurological symptoms as they present. Presently, Brian is heavily sedated and intubated to assist his collapsed airway as he breathes. He's receiving an IV cocktail to combat everything that they can identify to treat without having the final lab results. Right now Brian is resting peacefully i.e. kept under sedation and he is doing his best to fight this illness. His mother Barbara, Father Charlie, Brother Dan and Sister Meghan are here with me and together we are taking turns to be with him around the clock. As you can imagine I am taking all the time off I can from work and will go on FMLA just as soon as my regular PTO is depleted so that Brian will have someone with him at all times.
Please keep Brian in your thoughts. He means so much to so many and his life story isn't even close to completion. He can come back, we believe that he can and the doctor's are saying that he is young and strong and that will help him as he fights off this terrible illness.
With Sincere Gratitude, The Family of Brian C. McAuliffe