On July 2nd, my brother, Mario Street, went to the emergency room due to being severely short of breath with bouts of great confusion and extreme weakness , only to find out upon arrival that he had a deadly, silent case of pneumonia that had already filled his lungs and was about to take him out. Little did I know that this was the start of a roller coaster ride I was not prepared to board.
After being admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for what we thought was going to be for short term care, we were then made aware Mario was in respiratory, neuromuscular and pre-renal failure. Even with high amounts of oxygen supplied to Mario, his lungs still could not supply enough oxygen for his body, and his respiratory drive continued to weaken. Now we are advised that Mario should be intubated and he now has Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and is showing no sign of improvement.
As many of you know, my brother is a fighter and there is nothing he couldn't do to see another day and be there with his family. Mario was intubated and within 48 hours we were given a glimpse of hope; Mario had come off the ventilator and was interacting with us and the medical team with a smile on his face and a vision so clear in his eyes: Life.
And then our shred of hope was ripped from our hands as Mario was emergently reintubated that night. Mario had to remain intubated, sedated, and paralyzed to keep what strength he had and to regain more.
Our hope may have been snatched but our faith still remained.
But as this roller coaster ride continued with its highs and lows in such a short time, we soon reached the highest point of the ride with the greatest drop that seemed to never end.
Lights are bright and my body is present but yet I’m floating in air. Words are being said, tears are being shed, but all I can do is keep thinking in my head, "...He was getting better...we have faith...he's a fighter...how now? Why now? Not now..." Our family was told that depsite his improvements, Mario had a 5% chance of survival. The floor fell from beneath us as we wade in heartache and disbelief.
Mario's medical team was exceptional and provided the best treatment and care. As we sat with many thoughts and continue to pray for a pure miracle and stay strong as a family for Mario--and ourselves--we were advised with one. last. option: Proning.
This option would consist of turning my brother on his stomach for 16 hours, intubated and all. As a family, we agreed to move forward with "proning" with hopes of pulling enough fluid off of his lungs and allowing him to become stable enough to receive a trach. With this amazing news we were then told that if this works, Mario may not go back to living his normal life...
Thats when our miracle began to happen. Against all odds my brother fought his way back. He became vitally stable and remained that way after they turned him back over, and he started to show signs of the possibility to live. The doctors were left in amazement and we overjoyed that we didn't lose my brother!! He continued to progress and they were able to place a trach. He surprised doctors when they did their first spontaneous trial with removing the ventilator and just trying regular oxygen. HE NEVER WENT BACK ON THE VENTILATOR!!! After only a couple of days of oxygen, he was able to come off of all oxygen requirements and breath in regular air!!!! God is SO good!
I created this GoFundMe to get him help with his living and medical expenses because he is the head of the household and is not in the means to go right back to work. His body took a tremendous toll during this time--he lost over 50 pounds in this past year, but gaining more each week. He will be in therapy for an unknown period of time to regain muscle strength and learn how to go back to his normal life schedule at 100%. But Mario is home fulfilling his vision of living life with his family and we are ever so grateful. However, as if this wasn't enough, he just found out there is a mass on his kidney in which the doctors feel is cancerous. He will not be able to have any treatment done for this until he is healthy enough for his body to tolerate any form of treatment. The goal would be to have surgery to remove the mass in full, but he has a long way to go before his body could endure this type of procedure. This, too, will prevent him from making a living.
My brother is not the type of person to ask for anything, and quite frankly neither am I. But I wanted to do this to help him and his family because he needs and will need it. Those who know him know he has dedicated himself to helping others through his music, testimonials, daily interactions, and so much more. If you have it and can find it in your heart to do so, please donate whatever you can to him, his fiancé, and his 8 children. Help him maintain what he has built for his family while he can't do it for himself.
Thank you so much for your time! If you can't give in a monetary way, please send up a prayer.
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