In the early hours of Tuesday, June 6, 2017 my husband, Marcus Wade Blount, was admitted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He was sent to an ENT specialist in the ER for a throat infection that was diagnosed the day before as Strep. He was running a fever of 105 and the skin on his neck & chest area was quickly turning bright red. After a laryngoscopy was performed, the doctors were concerned that this infection was necrotizing fasciitis. Necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, is a very rare but serious bacterial infection that destroys tissue under the skin. Wade went in for emergency surgery for removal of necrotic tissue and was given antibiotics through IV. Please see my continued updates to follow our story. I'm fundraising to help with rehabilitation for my husband as well as financial stability for our family. Any donations that you can make will be greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Update #1: According to Wade's surgeon, the procedure went well. He is currently stable in the GICU and will stay intubated & sedated until he goes back into the OR tomorrow. The infection is very serious and the doctor wants to ensure that they examine and remove all necrotizing tissue. He appears to be sleeping peacefully, which is necessary for recovery and healing. Thank you ALL for reaching out, praying & sending love. I will do my best to post another update when I can. The support shown today has been overwhelming & so have the emotions, but knowing that so many of you are thinking of us is keeping me strong. Thank you!
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Update #2: Wade is currently still in the ICU. He continues to be intubated, sedated and now on 3 types of antibiotics to fight the infection. He is stable & surprisingly quite responsive. We have been communicating with sign language and with a white board. He is very aware & his sense of humor is showing through! He will be operated on again either today or tomorrow. We are still waiting on more details regarding the CT scan of his chest from the ENT Doctor. Infectious Disease is involved and working towards the most appropriate treatment and finding the type of bacteria that caused this.
Update #3: We just heard from the ENT doctor that Wade's CT scan of his chest didn't show anything different from what was seen already in the OR yesterday. He will be going back in for surgery late this afternoon to clear out any further necrotic tissue. This will likely have to be repeated again tomorrow. The doctors are working hard to treat this as aggressively as possible and prevent the infection from spreading.
Update #4: Wade is now out of the OR again and stable in the ICU. The doctors found some more necrotic tissue closer to his voice box, trachea as well as on his left lower side toward the chest but not too far down. The affected areas were cleaned out. His incision has been left open as they will need to go back in tomorrow to check it out again. The medical team is confident that Wade will get through all of this and after tomorrow's procedure, they will likely put in a wound pipe to allow healing from the inside out. Wade has been surprisingly responsive today & in good spirits! We are continuing to stay positive. Thanks again for all the support & love
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Update #5: Wade had a fairly uneventful night & has been getting some much needed rest. His blood pressure dropped slightly but has now stabilized. His fever is still high but we have been told that this is quite normal as his body continues to fight the infection. He is having some more blood work done to ensure the bacteria has not spread into his blood. Currently he is exercising his lungs by breathing on his own with only minor assistance. This will need to be done on a regular basis to ensure that his lungs don't get 'lazy' since he has been relying on a breathing tube. We just had several members of Wade's many medical teams come into the ICU so I will work on Update #6 here shortly...
Update #6: Wade will be going into the OR soon to be washed out again. There was quite a bit more necrotic tissue yesterday & so the doctors are continuing to treat very aggressively. They may also decide to do a tonsillectomy if necessary while they have him in the OR. There are many medical teams working with us, including pulmonary, infectious disease, ENT and now cardio thoracic. Once he is stable after surgery he will likely be transported to the hyperbaric chamber at Sentara Leigh Hospital for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the medical jargon but staff are doing their best to keep us informed. The head and neck surgeon explained that Wade will likely be in the hospital for quite a while and once the infection has been fully treated, he will require swallowing & speech therapy as many muscles and nerves have been damaged from repeated surgery. This is very scary but we are doing our best to stay strong.
Update #7: Wade is just finishing up in the OR after his 3rd surgical debridement. Today's procedure didn't involve as much removal of affected tissue as yesterday, which is a good sign that the infection is stabilizing and getting under control. We still need to take it day by day & he is not out of the woods yet but the head and neck surgical team had a positive outlook when speaking with us. They did the tonsillectomy as it looked like the infection, in fact, started there. He will likely go for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy tomorrow and this will continue for a few days. I should be able to see him in the ICU in a few minutes.
Update #8: Although there was less tissue removal during today's procedure, Wade endured quite a lot in the OR. Besides the tonsillectomy, he had to get tubes put in his ears so that when he goes for the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy his ears won't get damaged. A feeding tube was put in through his nostril, down his esophagus to his stomach so that he can get some nutrition, which will aid the healing process. A wound VAC dressing was applied where the incision is in his neck to promote healing. It pumps in a wound therapy solution, removes infectious materials and helps draw wound edges together. He is now on 3 different types of antibiotics as well as an antifungal medication. His blood pressure is stable, he is under pain management and is resting peacefully for the night.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Update #9: This morning, Wade is looking pretty good. His eyes are wide open and he has been watching the TV in his room! Today's goals are to continue managing his pain and to keep his temperature down. If his temperature gets to 101 or higher, there's risk of seizure during the oxygen treatment. Right now his temperature looks good and they are hoping to transport him over to Sentara Leigh by noon for the treatment. He has been communicating on the white board with the nurses and apparently he wrote "please call me Wade". Lol...he is in good spirits
Update #10: His temperature has gone back up so he has not been taken for the treatment yet. His nurse is working hard to bring it back down
Update #11: His temperature came back down & they transported him to Sentara Leigh Hospital at around 3:30pm. We haven't heard anything from the nurse yet so hoping it stayed down so they could move forward with the treatment. The treatment in the Hyperbaric Chamber can take 2-4 hours. Afterwards, he will be transported back to the ICU at Norfolk General. He may go to the OR once he returns. As of right now, he is scheduled to go back to the chamber tomorrow & on Sunday at 8am.
Update #12: The oxygen treatment went well & Wade is resting for the night. He was not brought back into the OR afterwards but is scheduled to return to the chamber for the next 3 days. His pain is being managed by Tylenol now as the narcotics were really starting to bother him. His vitals are stable and the nurses will be working to keep his temperature from spiking.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Update #13: Wade had a restful night and a successful trip to hyperbaric again this morning. He is now stable in the ICU. We haven't heard from the ENT team yet today to find out exactly what is happening next for him, but we do know he will be continuing hyperbaric treatments for several days. His pain is being managed well without the narcotics and his temperature has been stable. He is resting now as going to the chamber seems to take a lot out of him & sometimes he experiences episodes of feeling like he's drowning. It must be so scary for him but he remains strong. I know Wade has had an impact on the lives of so many people, so I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you that he had a team of nurses surprise me in the ICU with an edible bowl of ice cream for my Birthday! Wade truly is the most incredible man I have ever met and my love for him is indescribable.
Update #14: According to ENT, Wade is scheduled to go back into the OR on Monday to be washed out again for any necrotic tissue. The cultures from his blood work aren't showing anything new but the infectious disease specialists are continuing to keep a close eye on this. The infection was caused by group A strep as well as polymicrobial bacteria and this is why the doctors are continuing to treat aggressively. One of his 3 antibiotics has been changed because over time the body develops a tolerance to it, making it no longer effective. He continues to rest as he seems to be very tired today.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Update #15: Wade did very well with his HBO therapy today. When he returned, he was very alert and had much more energy (and strength) than yesterday. He had some visitors today - thank you to Brandon Flade and to Rodney Robinson & family (Sugarbear Shorty) for coming by. This was definitely good for his morale. Tomorrow will be another big day for him as he goes back for therapy in the morning and then into the OR afterwards. Many people have been asking if they can visit and they do allow visitors in the ICU but it's important that we don't overwhelm him right now. It is vital for him to rest and heal. That being said, if you would like to see him, please contact me first and I will do my best to get back to you with the best time...we still have to take this one day at a time. On another note, many have been asking how I am doing. I'm continuing to stay positive and continuing to move forward. I have to for Wade and Jared. My family needs me to stay healthy & be strong right now so that's what I plan to do. Yes, I am definitely also scared & anxious along with so many other emotions but knowing that you are all thinking of us and praying for us makes a huge difference. I know that I will need to start asking for more help soon (not an easy thing for me to do) so I am trying to wrap my head around what I/we need. Of course, my main focus is to be by Wade's side as much as possible and ensure Jared is safe and well cared for.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Update #16: Wade had a good night rest and was able to keep his temperature down for another HBO treatment this morning. He just received a sedative as the wound VAC nurses are going to change his dressing bedside in the ICU. If all looks good he may not go back into the OR today. I would like to share a recent message from a good friend of ours, Kathryn Kreisa Newsom: "Praying for the wound nurse to have gentle and precise hands and keen eyesight to make any judgements in quality of wound healing or need for more surgery." Thank you Kathryn, and to everyone for your continued prayers.
Update #17: The wound VAC dressing change went very well. The tissue looked healthy and so there is no need to go back into the OR today. He will be going back in on either Wednesday or Thursday for another debridement. If everything looks good at that point, he will be extubated (removal of breathing tube). The oxygen treatments are scheduled for 30 days. The wound VAC was moved to the right side of his incision so that they can work on realigning his neck. Apparently the dressing change was extremely painful for Wade today. Even with the pain medication, the nurse said he almost crushed her hand. He is exhausted after all of this and needs to rest. He cannot have any visitors for the rest of the day. He is resting peacefully now.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Update #18: Wade had a great night of rest and all went very well this morning with his HBO therapy. He was very communicative this afternoon using the whiteboard & signing. Right now, he is resting while exercising his lungs (breathing tube on spontaneous instead of assisted). There's a possibility that he will go back into the OR today, we are just waiting on one of the doctors from the ENT team to find out. More to come once I know more. Thank you for the continued love, prayers & support!
Update #19: Wade did not end up going to the OR today but the team is trying to schedule him in for Thursday to do a wash out, hopefully extubate him & begin closing him up. The doctors are keeping a close watch on his rising white blood cell count and may need to adjust his antibiotics. His temperature is also continuing to be closely monitored and treated with Tylenol every few hours. He now receives a shot in his belly every 8 hours to prevent blood clots. He will need another CT scan tomorrow after he goes back for HBO therapy. Despite all of this there were many positives relayed today, including the fact that his vitals are rock solid and his breathing tube is in the lowest possible setting. The only reason he is intubated is to protect his airway; his lungs are strong. Wade has already made a huge impression on many of the staff in the ICU - they LOVE him! I'm sure this will not come as a surprise when I say that he has been described as a "real sweetheart", a "kind & caring man", a "true fighter", and "the cream of the crop". He is dealing with so much right now but he remains the same, incredible person that I have always known. He amazes me everyday and I always tell him this. I am so lucky to have found the perfect partner ❤️
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Update #20: Wade is making great progress! After his HBO therapy, he sat upright in a chair for about 40 minutes. He has been given some exercises using resistance bands and hand squeeze balls to slowly help rebuild some of his strength. Please see the photo as he wanted me to share with you today! He had his scheduled CT scan late this afternoon and will be returning to the OR tomorrow. The plan is to remove any dead, damaged or infected tissue that may be left, to extubate him & to begin the process of closing up his incision. He will not be going to the oxygen chamber tomorrow as this along with surgery, would be too much to handle. He is scheduled to resume treatments on Friday. After having these treatments it's amazing to see how well he does; he is quite alert for a few hours. Afterwards, he becomes exhausted and usually falls in and out of sleep for several hours. We are praying for a successful surgery tomorrow