On August 19th, Erin Gilbert, mother of three young children, checked into the Emergency Room at Juan F. Luis Memorial Hospital on St Croix. She went in with a fever, feeling lethargic. Within a short time, she was diagnosed with pneumonia in both lungs and they expected her to need to stay in the hospital for two days. What they expected to be a short trip to the hospital quickly took an unexpected turn. Erin had to be resuscitated multiple times as her lungs failed her. She was moved to the ICU early in the morning on August 21st and stabilized before getting on a medical flight to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. Erin was moved to Jackson Memorial to take advantage of the ECMO machine which allows her to get oxygen without the use of her lungs while also receiving dialysis support for her kidneys. Since arriving in Miami on Thursday evening Erin has undergone surgery on her legs to relieve pressure from blood clots. Erin will undergo an additional surgery in the next 24 to 48 hours to support her heart function. This surgery will involve the amputation of her right leg just above the knee. The doctors are assessing whether she will need to lose her left foot.
As you can see, Erin’s road to recovery will be long, but a path is developing that will help her get there. She is fighting hard for her life every minute of every hour with blood literally leaving her body to be oxygenated before returning to sustain her. Her organs are on the mend, but they are still not operating properly. Even after her lungs and kidneys have healed, she will need months of physical therapy to help her return to normal life.
Erin will be in the hospital for at least another couple of months. This will require short term housing for Packy and her mother, Colleen, as well as transportation while they are there. Lastly, Packy is a local business owner on St Croix and will need to travel to the island to run the business and more importantly to see their children: Fiona, Hazel and Patch.
Important: Packy wants to ensure that everyone knows Erin would not be here without the support and love of the Nurses, Doctors and staff at JFL Hospital in St Croix. The people there truly worked miracles and with their hands and minds but are hamstrung by the lack of resources at the hospital. Any extra funds not used for housing, flights or transportation will go directly to JFL and we will work hard to ensure they get earmarked for something the staff specifically say they need.
Packy and his family appreciate all of the love and support that they have and continue to receive from their friends, family and the community.
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