Fighting sepsis with Bryan Pierce.

Hi my name is Pascale and I am asking for your help while my husband Bryan fights a heavy battle with sepsis. Here is our story;
After coming home from work on Friday Feb 2nd Bryan said he wasn’t feeling well, he was just dealing with 2 arguing boys, so I just thought his pressure was up. Being the parent of 4 disabled children it was a no brainer to me that he was stressed. As the night continued Bryan had violent chills, shaking the bed with each chill. By 6 a.m. I was taking him to the ER. After being admitted to the hospital we were told that Bryan probably ate something bad, might have had gastroenteritis and sent home.
Over the next 2 days Bryan’s health got steadily worse. Bryan still had the violent chills, followed by high fevers, he was hallucinating, sweating through his clothes, and he had a seizure. At 3 a.m. on feb 7th I called an ambulance as Bryan was getting weaker and could not take the stairs. Leaving notes all over the house for our children. I followed the ambulance to a different hospital. Told a new doctor our symptoms who ordered a cat scan only to find that Bryan had a bowl perforation, which is a ruptured intestine. Bryan was taken straight into surgery, where they found that he also had dead bowl due to a hernia in the small intestine. Bryan came out of surgery doing good. Looking good and joking around. I thought everything was over and now he will be ok. But the next day Bryan had violent chills again his heart rate and blood pressure were super high followed by high fevers, this episode happened again the next day and Bryan was admitted to the ICU and I was told he also had sepsis(definition below). With in a blink of the eye things changed. Bryan now had some medically-complex conditions. He was now in critical care. He started having bloody stools and had to go back into the operating room on Saturday morning. Where they took away some more of his small intestine and a part of the bowl. This was his 2nd surgery in 3 days. At this point Bryan was put on a ventilator and heavily sedated. Over the next 4 days the surgeons would decide to take Bryan back to the O.R. for a clean out, as the infection control doctor could not treat Bryan’s sepsis without controlling the infection that was leading to his case of sepsis. They did a clean out but had to go back in 2 days later to do it again. Making it 4 surgery’s in a week and a half. After that the antibiotics and the anti fungus medication seemed to be working, his blood was clear of the sepsis. At this point the doctors decided they would perform a tracheotomy since he was intubated for so long and was having trouble coming off the ventilator and breathing on his own. But we all were positive that it seemed like he was past the worst of it. One weeks later Bryan started having violent chills again. Almost over night his kidneys stopped functioning properly and Bryan went into kidney failure needing dialysis. Once again Bryan was positive for sepsis. And this time it seems stronger trying to do its job of killing organs. Today makes 29 days in the hospital and 27 days in the ICU and Bryan is fighting for his life. Sepsis kills more Americans each year than AIDS, prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. And it can cause so much damage both physically and mentally.

After care will also be an issue as the next step from the ICU is an intense couple of weeks/months of therapy at a long tern acute care facility where he will get therapy until he is able to come home. If that takes too long then we will have to find a place that will take a patient on dialysis and with a tracheostomy. We have a very long road ahead of us. Every trip to the hospital and every meal is a cost that we didn't prepare for. A cost that we couldn't prepare for. Overnight we were looking at a loss of income, a loss of support and a loss of structure.

As much as my pride wants me to just deal with this the way I have always dealt with thing, with a smile on my face and in silence, and while I deliberated for quite a while about doing this. I realize that we have disabled children who I need to put first.
Bryan and I have 4 children together and 1 child that Bryan raised since age 2. To her he is her father and her best friend. Of our 5 children 1 died of SIDS at 6 weeks old. 1 has autism and ADHD, 1 has ADHD, 1 was born with no connection between her throat and her stomach (esophageal atresia). She has had 59 major surgeries and has died on the operating table and brought back. She also has ADHD and anxiety. And 1 has a TBI(traumatic brain injury).

Being parents to 4 disabled children Bryan and I are very used to hospital life. As our youngest daughter was hospitalized on and off for the 1st 8 years of her life. But we got used to being home and what life is like outside of hospitalization. I am confident we will get there again, but this time seem so much harder as the person I lean on in times of crisis, the person who helps me keep my smile on, the person who helps me cope, the person who is my rock is now the person in the hospital bed. Bryan is a good father, partner, and friend.

We have no family here. We left our families in New York and moved to Minnesota to take care of our youngest daughter’s medical needs. Making all of this extra hard, not only for me but also for them.

I have asked God to soften my heart. To let me allow people to help. To help me ask people for help.

So, here I am opening up and asking for help. Whether it's through prayer, reaching out with encouragement and kind words, or helping offset costs associated with all this , we are thankful for any and all of the support we will receive. The only reason our hearts are where they are is because of the support we've had. Our goal is to help offset the out of pocket costs associated with a long hospital stay, help paying for sitters for our children, help with food, bills, and travel as I now know this fight will continue for months. I also want to convert our family/living room into a kind of bedroom so that Bryan doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs once home. Our bedroom is down stairs and I know this will be hard for him.

So, Again, My Children and I say thank you for your support. For your prayers. For your blessings.

Please share our story with others
Thank you

Definition: Sepsis is a serious illness. It happens when your body has an overwhelming immune response to a bacterial infection. The chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection trigger widespread inflammation. This leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. They cause poor blood flow, which deprives your body's organs of nutrients and oxygen. In severe cases, one or more organs fail. In the worst cases, blood pressure drops and the heart weakens, leading to septic shock. https://medlineplus.gov/sepsis.html

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Pascale Dee 
Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
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