While hospitalized, her family began to notice that her abdomen was distended. This was brought to the attention of the hospital staff, but they were told that she was in the recovery process and that this was not abnormal. She was released from the hospital on Thursday, January 11. After being home for only 3 hours, she was in excruciating pain. Her cousin who had come to stay with her called for the ambulance. Upon return to the hospital, it was determined that she had a bowel perforation and that she would again need emergency surgery.
The surgery did not go as planned. She had many adhesions and her body had “walled off” the area being impacted by the bowel perforation in an attempt to protect itself. The doctor was not able to complete the repair, but was able to clean out her abdomen and insert several drains to assist in the removal of the leaking bowel. Her abdomen was packed and was left open in anticipation of a future surgery. She was sedated and moved to the ICU to allow her body time to rest and heal, and to allow the doctors to determine their next step.
On Monday, January 15, she was moved to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as the doctors in Waterloo were in fear that she would not be able to recover from this round of issues. There, she was removed from sedation and began to show signs of improvement.
On Friday, January 26, she was moved to Allen Hospital to an inpatient rehab facility. Currently, she is on very limited clear fluids as anything that she takes orally is released through the controlled fistula in her bowel. It is not known how long she will be in rehab and if/when the fistula will heal. She has many months of recovery and possible surgeries ahead in order to close her open abdomen and (hopefully) repair the fistula if her body will not heal on its own.
The funds raised will help with the cost of her health insurance so that her continued care can be maintained and any medical expenses that are not covered. Without insurance, her family is not sure what they will do to be able to cover these costs.
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- Sharon Blough
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