Anna Lageson Van Voorhis, the 33 year old mother of a 4 year old daughter, had a (non-covid) medical emergency early morning on August 3, 2021. When her husband, Sasha, heard her fall, he found her unresponsive with no pulse. He began CPR while on speaker phone with 911. He continued CPR until paramedics arrived.
Anna was taken to the U of M Medical Center because of their cardiac ICU. She suffered several cardiac arrests during attempts to stabilize her, and was ultimately put on a heart+lung bypass machine (ECMO) to help oxygenate her blood and an in-heart balloon pump was inserted to assist with circulation.
While initially we believed that the brain injury was due to hitting her head when she fell, subsequent CT scans indicated a diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage. The neurologist's best guess without an MRI (not possible with the amount of intervention she needed) was that bleeding just outside her brain caused her initial collapse and cardiac arrest. The blood around her brain then created pressure and caused a stroke.
Anna was not responsive to pain, was not moving, and was not overbreathing her ventilator. CT scans showed that even automatic functions like breathing and heartbeat were not possible. The initial stroke was not survivable.
Anna was removed from life support on Thursday, August 5, 2021, and died shortly after, surrounded by her family.
Anna was simply the best. She was the most kind-hearted and loving person. She was always in the middle of the action and wanted to be part of everything. Anna looked out for everyone around her and was selfless in caring for all of us.
Although Anna was insured, the best hospital for her to have had a chance of recovery was out of network. We are not yet sure how bad the medical bills will be. While the care she received was excellent, it is expensive and will not be entirely covered by insurance.
Anna was also the main wage earner for the family. Sasha coaches high school soccer and Nordic skiing and works seasonally as a part time arborist while being the primary caretaker of their daughter, Marit.
We are devastated by the loss of Anna, but we will not let her family be devastated financially by this tragedy. The goal is to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, keep their house, and give Sasha and Marit space and time to begin healing together. We also want to set up an education fund for Marit to cover future college expenses.
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We are so grateful to have had Anna in our lives and we will miss her forever. I am Anna's mother-in-law, and though she wasn't mine, I love her like she was my own.