Daniel Wilcox Saddle Pulmonary Embolism

My husband, Daniel Wilcox, had his third back surgery (a lower lumbar fusion) on Tuesday June 10, 2014.  All went well according to the surgeons and Daniel spent two nights admitted to the hospital to recover.  We were hopeful that this back surgery was finally going to work!  But on Wednesday June 25, 2014 he started having severe abdominal pain and vomiting, we just thought this was due to the amount of narcotic pain medications that he was still using during the recovery period.  But when it became worse on Friday the 27th of June I took him to Ephrata Community Hospital E.R. and in triage, they had a very difficult time getting any kind of oxygen saturation reading on him.  They immediately took him to a room and started him on 6 liters of oxygen and were still only able to get his oxygen to read in the low 40's.  They performed several tests on him there (CT scan and X-rays) and very quickly took him to ICU, where they informed me that they would be air lifting him to Hershey Medical Center because he had a Saddle (double) pulmonary embolism (clot in the lungs) and that he was extremely sick!  My in-laws, who were watching our 13 yr old at the time, and my mother met me at Ephrata before they airlifted him.  Our daughter was able to speak with him briefly and then we began the (what felt like a never-ending) 45 minute drive to meet him at Hershey Medical.  We were all scared and unsure of what was really going on, when we arrived they had him in a room in ICU and were getting him settled and vitals taken.  I spent the night with him in the room in a chair next to his bed, getting only small amounts of sleep because he would wake up confused and trying to get out of the bed everytime the pain medication wore off, and by 6 am on Saturday the 29th, they knew that he simply was just not getting enough oxygen, so they posed the idea of sedation and putting him on a ventilator.  I dont think either one of us understood the length of time that he would most likely be on the vent, but we agreed.  That was two weeks ago today and he is still on the ventilator.  Tuesday and Wednesday July 2nd & 3rd he had some major setbacks and the Dr's were unsure of the outcome by the end of each day.  He was at 100% oxygen needed on the ventilator, high doses of sedation around the clock, high doses of pain meds, and a blood thinner, and his oxygen saturation was still in the high 70's.  We reluctantly brought our daughter in to see him, and we surrounded him with family and friends who all continued to lay hands on him and pray incessantly for his healing.  The nurses and Dr's encouraged us to talk to him, that he could hear us and it would help him to fight for his life (everytime our daughter or I spoke to him- his oxygen sat's went up!)  We were so encouraged and we continued to do this all day and all night long, but they were still considering putting him on life support if his numbers did not come up by 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon.  We called everyone we knew, posted it on FB (and asked people to share the news with their friends,) and asked a hospital chaplain to come and annoint Daniel and pray over him with us, we begged God for a miracle!!!  By the time the Dr's returned they could not believe how good his numbers looked!  They decided to hold off on the life support machine and decided to turn him on his stomach for 16 hours to help open the lung sacs that were being blocked by the clot, they were fearful that when they turned him on his back again, his numbers would plummet and that they would have a hard time getting him stabilized again-- but we had something specific to pray for, and again God answered our prayers!  When they turned him back over, his numbers barely wavered!!!  They did this process for several more days until the chest x-ray showed that the parts of his lungs that needed opened the most were opened and staying open!  In the mean time, they were running extensive blood tests to understand the cause of both the pulmonary and liver clots, and although the medical records from the hospital that did his surgery had no documentation that any heparin or heparin based blood thinners were ever given, they came to the conclusion that while Daniel stayed in the hospital for the two days following the surgery, a nurse must have given him a heparin flush in one of his IV lines to help keep them open, and the blood tests showed that he has an auto-immune disorder where he is allergic to heparin.  Had I not taken him to the E.R. on Friday, they told us that he would have passed away within the next two days.  In the short week and a half that he took a turn for the worse, he is already been weaned down to 50% on the ventilator and the sedation and pain meds are slowly being weaned, and his platelet count was at 11 when he was admitted to the hospital and as of Thursday July 10th, they have come up to 39!  We are unsure as to when he will be completely off of the vent, it is up to him and how much he can tolerate each day, but we cannot stop thanking God for the miracle He started in Daniel's life and for the promise that He will see it through to the end!!!  Unfortunately, I have been the only one able to work while Daniel was awaiting back surgery and going through recovery, and since June 27th, I have been off of work indefinitely to be by his side, until he comes off of the ventilator.  So we are asking that anyone who would like, and is able to donate money towards the bills that keep coming and the hospital bills that will not be covered by insurance, please feel free to donate here.  We have faith and are trusting that the Lord will provide for us financially wherever there is a need!  Some people have been asking if they can help, and that is the reason that I made the decison to open this account!  The Dr's have told us that the road ahead will be a long one, and Daniel will be very weak as he recovers, since they feel it is too risky to go in and remove the clots, his body must slowly re-absorb them.  I will continue to post updates here and thank each and everyone of you who donates--anything will help at this point!
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Organizer

Sabrina Wilcox 
Organizer
Ephrata, PA
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