Bert passed away Thursday, February 22nd surrounded by his wife, Amber, his parents, Gary and Janel Young, sister and her husband, Traci and James King and several other family members and friends. His service dates and times will be announced soon. Please keep our family in your prayers. Bert fought a good fight but after 2 months in the hospital his condition and additional complications was just too much.
See below for additional details of his condition:
On Christmas Eve Bert went into the ER because he started coughing up blood. It was a very large amount of blood and actually the third time it had happened. Unfortunately, doctors had not been able to figure out the cause of the problem the first two times he went to the hospital.
Bert was quickly admitted to ICU. Over the next several days many tests, x-rays, scans and even surgeries were done to correct the hemoptysis (coughing up of blood) but his condition worsened. The doctors were able to locate the source of the problem in the lower lobe of his left lung but they could not operate on it and get it to stop bleeding. He eventually had to be intubated and sedated in order to maintain his airway.
It became very clear that he would need to be at a specialty hospital in order to get him the life support that he so desperately needed in the form of an ECMO machine. So late Saturday night December 30, 2017 he was transported to Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX.
Within the first two days after Bert arrived things started to look up. The doctors were able to get him on the ECMO machine that helped his lungs. They were also able to clearly diagnose the source of the bleeding as a pulmonary AVM (malformed vessels in the lung) and give us a plan of action which included surgery to remove the lower lobe of his left lung (lobectomy) because the vessels could not be fixed.
After the lobectomy was completed the plan was to allow his body time to heal before doing anything else. However, we soon found out that he had two pulmonary embolisms (blood clots) in his lungs that the doctors had been watching since he arrived, also two large DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) in his legs and several other smaller clots in his arms and legs. These were very concerning and have caused Bert major setbacks in the last few weeks. The doctors were having to figure out why he was making all these clots but at the same time a severe bleeding problem in his lungs!?
In fact, on January 5th the doctors think that one of the clots broke loose, went to his heart causing his right ventricle to start to fail and sending him into congestive heart failure. This ultimately affected his kidneys and liver a great deal of additional damage and caused him to have to start dialysis- yet again another machine. Bert also had to go on RVAD (right ventricle assist device) to bypass the right side of his heart.
It has been a daily and sometimes almost hourly battle between Bert and the machines- the clots and the blood thinners, and countless sedation medications that he is on to keep him comfortable and all the machines running to support Bert. We know that with this type of situation there are often several good days followed by some bad days- but we also know that God is bigger than anything we can ever face on this earth. Even with it coming up on 4 weeks now in ICU this is still the beginning of a long, difficult road for Bert, Amber and their three children. The support, love and outreach from friends, family and neighbors; co-workers, church family and even strangers has been humbling. Hundreds and hundreds of people have been praying and we know they will continue to pray as long as it takes!
With such a long stay in ICU already and the extensive amount of medical care Bert has already received the medical bills will be, no doubt, very high. All of the donations will go directly to Bert and his family to help cover these medical costs, lost wages and any other medical care for him to ensure that he is able to recover as quickly as possible. Thank you so much for taking the time to read Bert’s story. We will be updating you often. Prayerfully there will be much progress in the days to come. Please feel free to send us any questions you might have concerning Bert. Thanks and God Bless!
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