On Sunday evening July 7, Carol started experiencing intense ear pain. She went to the doctor on Monday, July 8, where her doctor prescribed her an antibiotic for an ear infection. She had no other visible symptoms of anything beyond that.
Early Tuesday morning, July 9, Carol was found conscious but unresponsive at her home. She was experiencing a seizure and transported to PeaceHealth Medical Center in Friday Harbor. She was flown out of Friday Harbor and admitted to the Neuro-ICU at Swedish Hospital in Seattle (Cherry Hill Campus).
After a full day of blood cultures, CAT scan, MRI, EEG, EKGs, x-rays, and a lumbar puncture, doctors concluded that Carol has bacterial meningitis. For those that are unfamiliar with meningitis, you can read up on it here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/meningitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350508 Disclaimer: while some forms of this disease are extremely contagious and present a public health risk, the form Carol has is not contagious nor should cause public concern.
Carol's case is severe. Beyond the infection being extremely dangerous, her heart, kidneys, lungs, and blood have all taken a serious hit. Doctors have made it clear that she is not "out of the woods". We remain optimistic about Carol's progress, but we are staying realistic about the situation; Carol is in critical condition and life-saving measures are being taken by her medical team.
In the words of her doctor: this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. We know she will need IV antibiotics (in the hospital) for about two weeks. After that, physical therapy and continued rehabilitation are likely for about 4-6 weeks.
In the meantime, what YOU can do: pray, send your good energy this way, and help us prepare financially for getting Carol out of the hospital and into rehabilitation. Any amount is appreciated; if we receive above what we need, we'd like to donate the extra to Friday Harbor EMS, as well as supply (lots of!) dog food and treats to a very special pup. It was by the miracle of Carol's neighbors being in the right place at the right time (taking their new puppy out for an early morning potty break) that Carol was heard calling for help and that she is here with us today fighting to get better. We are forever grateful for your quick action.
Names to include in prayers:
- Dr. Kory Herrick, one of her lead doctors
- Dr. My-Le Huynh, her other lead doctor
- The Swedish ICU, cardiology, respiratory, and infectious diseases teams
- Nurses: Anna, Betsy, Maggie, Czarina, Abdel, Ian, Lizzie
- Whoever else Mom gets to meet in the coming weeks!
We love you for your care and concern. We will try to update regularly and will be sure to read Mom any well wishes.
All our love,
Bristol and Desi Whalen (Team Rockstar Mom -- go mamacita, go!)
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