Fight for Chris

{Snap Shot}  Fighting for Chris 

 At the end of Dec 2017, Chris Naef was viciously attacked by Viral Meningitis. It is extremely rare for the meningitis virus to get into the cerebrospinal fluid, but when it does, as it did in Chris’s case, it can be deadly.

Chris was rushed into ICU at a well know hospital in Arizona. For over 2 weeks he was comatose and fighting for his life. Somehow, Chris fought his way back to consciousness & seemed to be beating the very steep odd's of his survival. He was responsive, interacting with his family, surprising even hospital staff members as to how well he was doing. And then something Incomprehensible Happened! A feeding tube was misrouted and ended up in his lung. This caused the lung to partially collapse. Within hours, Chris went into Respiratory Distress... Stealing away all of the remarkable progress that Chris had made. Once again Chris was thrust into a battle for his life! For more details please read the full story.  [Please Help!...see below]

{Full Story}   Fighting for Chris 
 
Setting the Stage

On Dec 30, 2017 Chris Naef, and the lives of his loved ones were changed forever. From out of nowhere, Chris went from spending time with his loving wife, two children & four grand children to a man that was fighting for his life against staggering odds.  

For reasons that the medical experts don’t understand, Chris was viciously attacked by Viral Meningitis.  It is extremely rare for the meningitis virus to get into the cerebrospinal fluid, but when it does, as it did in Chris’s case, it can be deadly.

This condition is described as Infectious Encephalitis. This type of encephalitis is caused when someone has an infection which breaches the blood-brain barrier, mounting a direct infectious attack on the brain tissue.  Encephalitis has a mortality rate of up to 30% even with prompt specific anti-viral treatment, and 70-80% without treatment. 

Encephalitis is a devastating condition. It robs people of abilities most of us take for granted, it leaves people without their loved ones, and even in those families where the person affected survives, the person they once knew can be dramatically changed due to the devastating damage inflicted on the brain.

The terrifying reality about this horrible disease is that, in the blink of an eye, even in the best case scenario, we have lost a part of Chris that we may never get back.

Chris’s Fight  (Amazing)

Chris started with flu like symptoms only days before.  He then became disoriented & was taken to an Urgent Care facility. Doctors there thought that Chris may have suffered a stroke. Chris was then taken by ambulance to a well known hospital in Arizona. Shortly after his arrival to the Emergency Room, Chris was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.  Chris was heavily sedated, intubated, started on a vast array of medications to include a very specific type of an anti-viral. A battery of tests, cultures, X-Ray’s, CT’s, MRI’s, and a Lumbar puncher (spinal tap} etc were performed. Chris was isolated and quickly became comatose.

As we walked back into the ICU to see Chris for the first time, my heart was racing, my mind was frantically searching for answers to questions that I didn't even know how to ask, and when I turned the corner and saw Chris for the first time, I gasped at what I saw, so many tubes, wires, IV's & bags of medicine, things going in to and out of Chris (the picture above doesn't begin to show all of the things that Chris was hooked up to). I felt so helpless, so heartbroken, so confused as to how all of this could have happened. Only days before we were making plans for New Years & now my little brother was in a fight for his life. 

Over, the next couple of weeks, there were a lot of ongoing treatments, tests, scans, etc.  

Chris was fighting with everything he had, eventually the Doctors began to try to wean Chris off of sedation and then off of the ventilator. Amazingly enough, he did very well with it and soon Chris was off of the ventilator, sitting up in bed, interacting fairly well, he would look at us and gesture. He could not speak very well, we were told partly due to the tubes that had been down his throat & possibly due to the Encephalitis. He could say some words, move all of his extremities with meaning and purpose, shake hands with a strong grip (both hands), recognize us, etc. etc. Things were looking so positive and hopeful. 

 On Jan 10, 2018, we were told by an ICU nurses that Chris was going to be moved from the critical care portion of ICU to another room within the ICU (as he still had a long way to go). However, later that day we were told that due to the massive influx of new patients, they were going to move Chris completely out of the ICU. Within a couple of hours they moved Chris to general care on the 2nd floor of the hospital. We expressed our concerns, but we were told that he would be put near the nurses station so they could keep an eye on him.

They ended up putting him in a shared room, around the corner and down the hall  from the nurses station. While we were concerned, we trusted the medical staff as while he was in the ICU, they had taken such good care of Chris. 

 On Jan 11th, the Physical Therapist (PT's) came in to do an assessment on Chris's condition. They went through several evaluations and actually got him to stand (assisted) for 15-20 sec. They commented on how after seeing his chart, they did not expect to see Chris doing so well.  
 
On Jan 12, The Speech Therapist (ST) came in and said that the ventilation tubes had weakened his throat muscles and Chris would need to put in some work to strengthen his muscles. The ST left us with written instruction as to how to do several exercises with Chris. That night, I worked with Chris on a few of the exercises the ST had left. I was amazed at how well he was doing with the exercises. I left the hospital that night knowing that Chris had a long way to go, but feeling really good about how well he was progressing.... And Then... 

Something incomprehensible Happened

Jan 13, I arrived at the hospital and noticed that Chris's feeding tube was still inserted, but it was not hooked up to the container of feeding solution. Within a few moments, someone from the Cardiology department came in and performed an EKG. The nurse came in and said that they had detected some irregular heart rhythms. Soon a Cardiologist showed up & said he was going to add something's to Chris's now reduced regiment of meds to help with his cardio concerns. When the nurse came back into the room, I asked her about what meds Chris was still on, and I asked why he was looking so rung out (to the point he looked dehydrated). During that conversation, the nurse informed me that Chris had pulled the feeding tube out of his nose sometime during the night and that a hospital staff member had to re-insert the tube. I knew from what I had seen in the ICU that they needed to do any X-ray or CT to ensure the tube was in the stomach. When I asked the nurse about that, she said they were planning on getting an X-Ray soon. Shortly after, Chris's wife showed up and I gave her an update.  We asked the nurse several more times about the X-ray. Finally, the nurse took Chris to get a CT....and then we were given the gut-wrenching results from the CT.

We were told that when the hospital staff member re-inserted the feeding tube, they Did Not put the tube into Chris's stomach, the hospital rep had inserted the feeding tube into Chris’s lung. While we were told that no food was pushed into his lung, the tube remained in Chris’s lung for an extended number of hours.  {To date the hospital staff has not fully responded to our questions about the details regarding this matter}

As a direct consequence, Chris's lung partially collapsed. Chris was rushed back to ICU, a chest tube had to be inserted into Chris’s chest in an attempt to re-inflate his Lung. (FYI his heart concerns got better after his lung was re-inflated)

How could this happen!!! A blast of emotions hit us with both barrels. OMG!!! Chris had just been in a full on, all hands on deck, knock down, drag out, fight for his life where the odd's were already stacked against him.  And now, as a direct result of straight up negligence, all of the gains that Chris had fought for, struggled with & clawed his way back from, were needlessly ripped away from Chris as well as our family. This incomprehensible act demonstrated extremely poor judgment, and an enormous lack of medical competence. There are no words to describe the anguish & overwhelming frustration that we continue to feel about this matter.

That night Chris's wife decided she was going to pull up a chair and stay with Chris. In the middle of the night, my amazing brother was thrust back into another “fight for his life” as he went into Respiratory Distress. He was rushed back to the critical care unit where he was once again intubated & placed back onto that vast array of sedation, medications etc.

(The opening picture was taken at this stage)

 We need your help!

Chris is a scrapper, he continues to fight the good fight!!
He is using every fiber of his mind, body, & soul to battled back {AGAIN}. 
My little brother is making progress. However, the onslaught of medical expense are piling up to monumental levels [Estimated to be in the Hundreds of thousands of Dollars]. The family is of limited means and we would so appreciate any and all financial support that you can offer! 

Additionally, we would ask that you help us get the word out about Chris’s Fight. Please tell as many people as you can, via personal contact, social media (send the link to Go Fund Me) , friends, neighbors and family members, social and networking groups, etc… the more the better!! 

Your Support (Will make a Positive Difference!! )
You can enable Chris & his family to have the best chance of navigating through these incredibly difficult and challenging times. 
 
THANK YOU
Thanks to all of you that have taken the time to read about Chris's Fight. 
 
Our heartfelt gratitude to all of you that have donated & helped us encourage others to join our fight.

 A special thanks to the Encephalitis Society for the good work they do in helping people understand this terrible disease.   

We implore your positive consideration to join us in Chris's Fight !!

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  • Anonymous 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Jason Naef 
Organizer
Phoenix, AZ
Tammy Naef 
Beneficiary
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