Saturday morning, the 2nd of August, was a day to gather and go out for breakfast as a family before heading to work. In one brief second life changed...
As Carla turned away to put her shoes on she heard Bobby say "OH MY GOD"! When she turned back around she saw him collapsing. She immediately ran to him and started performing CPR. She stomped on the floor to get their daughter Tiffany's (who still lives at home and was asleep in the basement at the time) attention . Tiffany came running upstairs knowing that stomp was a cry out for emergent help! Not even thinking twice about it, she jumped right in and took over performing CPR as Carla called 911.
While treating their husband and father with CPR, they lost their connection to 911... Another tragedy. Tiffany continued CPR on her father while Carla ran next door to get their neighbor, Steve, who is a police officer and a certified trainer of CPR. 911 called back and while Carla was on the phone with them, Tiffany and Steve continued to perform CPR until the paramedics and fire and rescue showed up and took over.
At this point, it seemed as if things were finally going in the right direction. Bobby was at the hospital receiving top notch care within 90 minutes of the start of the initial event. The trauma team assessed him and they took him to the cath lab... perplexed is the only word that comes to mind to describe the doctors when they came out to reveal their findings. NO BLOCKAGE?! NO DAMAGE?! NO ANSWERS?!
The family immediately requested a CT scan, but it was not performed at this time. At this point, they took Bobby up to the coronary ICU, because his heart was in such unstable condition, put him into hypothermic treatment and paralytic coma by medication. Again, the family asked for a CT scan and the Cardiologist told the family that when Bobby was brought out of hypothermia and the paralytic coma they would do the CT scan, as this test could not be performed while was in the hypothermic state.
At 2 o'clock in the afternoon on August 3rd, nurses started the warming process. They could only warm the body .3 degrees per hour. In good ole' Bobby fashion, he was stubborn and we knew he was thinking "I'll show you"! It took longer than usual to raise his body temperature back up to normal. In fact, this process took all the rest of Sunday and into Monday to accomplish.
On August 4th, around noon, the doctor finally decided that Bobby was stable enough to be transported to have a CT scan done...
There was blood showing on the films and of course complete chaos and panic occurred within his family and circle of close friends. At this point, the Neurology department decided to take over Bobby's case. He then was transferred to the neurocritical ICU. A Neurosurgeon performed an angiography of his brain almost immediately after he was transferred to the neurocritical ICU. Once again, Bobby had this Neurosurgeon perplexed! There was only a miniscule amount of blood showing up on his test results... There was no damage to any of the vessels in the brain... There was no evidence of an aneurysm...
On August 5th, an EEG was done along with a reevaluation of the CT scan. A decision was then made to do an additional MRI that evening to confirm the Neurologists findings.
Sure enough on August 6th, the Neurologist confirmed his suspicion... Bobby has had a Global Hypoxic-Anoxic brain injury (Global meaning that the entire brain is encompassed). There is no clear explanation as to how this happened, but it has happened, unfortunately. This is a severe condition, from which there is no recovery.
While at this time he is still with us, Bobby always said "When I die, donate my body to science".
His wife Carla, daughters Tambra and Tiffany are choosing to honor his wishes. Bobby WILL be an organ donor! He will gift 8 organs to people who otherwise could possibly have no chance at recovery from their own illnesses. What an amazing way to honor such a terrific husband & father, right? We think so.
The kicker here is that Bobby was a contract labor worker, so there is no pay to be had during this hospital stay. Carla, fairly new at her job, has accrued minimal paid time off. Tiffany, a recent college graduate looking for employment, has no income. Tambra, who is in the process of gaining legal guardianship of her two nephews and niece that she had planned to raise along side their Uncle, lost her husband three months ago on May 6th. His Jeep collided with a train as he was on his way back to work from participating at an egg launch at the kids' school just a few minutes prior.
YES, you did read that correctly....
Tambra's husband Eddie was killed at an unmarked (NO lights or cross arms) section of train tracks in Enid Oklahoma just three short months ago.
This family has gone through a horrific tragedy very recently and here they are again...With no health insurance.
It is more important to them to honor their father & husband by giving the gift of life to others than to worry about their financial situation at this time...
"We will find a way" is their philosophy.
There is no money coming in and I can't imagine how much being spent, but that is not on their minds. They have other priorities, with the one at the top of their list being Bobby's wishes for if anything were to ever happen to him. They will do anything it takes to make sure his memory will live on the way he wanted!
In the meantime, we are stepping up to do what we can to ensure that the family will have what they need to get back on their feet. We are filled with gratitude at the outpouring of love and support being shown already. So many people have stepped forward and asked how they can help, many expressing how helpless they feel in the wake of such tragedy.
The truth is there is a way that people can help, and that is by way of monetary donations. It is never easy to reach out to friends and family for financial support, however with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses piling up we are asking anyone that is able to please consider giving to help offset these rising expenses.
We want to thank you in advance for your support and please continue to lift the Lewallen family up in your prayers.
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