Jon Smith Back From the Brink





Many of you around the country and even around the world have had the pleasure of working with and knowing Jon Smith, and for the rest of you, here's your chance to meet and help him.  I am writing this request for help on his behalf.  I am Melissa Green, and we began dating 11-4-2010, and were engaged 1-1-2015.  We are seen in the above photograph on 2-11-2017.

Jon Smith fell ill beginning on 5-31-2017, with what was eventually diagnosed as Coccidioidomycosis, or Valley Fever, while working on a DBA/DB2 contract in Scottsdale AZ.  The fungus has settled into his brain, and he began a year-long course of anti-fungal medicine for this condition in August.  The fungus left him with poor memory, headaches, and eventually debilitated so that he could not perform Activities of Daily Living.  Jon continues to fight that illness and recover from those injuries. 

He was hospitalized in Scottsdale and Chicago for the Coccidioidomycosis in his brain, and it was in Chicago that it was determined he'd contracted the very serious Clostridium difficile infection, commonly known as "CDiff".   CDiff can be fatal, is extremely contagious, and difficult to treat and control for exposure.  Jon had been in his apartment in Northbrook for a few days between his hositalization in Chicago and then being taken by ambulance to Glenbrook Hopital in September.  Jon was ill in the apartment and some of his furniture and belongings needed to be destroyed due to contamination.  Additionally, I took care of the cleaning and decontamination of his apartment.

Jon was taken by ambulance after discharge from Glenbook Hosptal to a skilled nursing facility and spent only one night there before falling gravely ill.  In the morning after, I had called him only to hear the immense distress in his voice. I had immediately called the facility and insisted that they do a Wellness Check.  Jon was found comotose and his hemoglobin count was just 3.3 upon his arrival by ambulance that morning at Evanston Northwestern Hospital.  The ER doctor told me he'd been within 1-2 hours of death due to catastrophic blood loss from his colon, and his blood pressure at that  time was just 79/41, with very poor kidney and heart function resultant. 

I remained in the hospital with Jon for the first 30 hours and helped to guide the medical teams through his wishes as he was intubated, had ports inserted, and began receiving dialysis.  Jon had made me Durable Power of Attorney many years ago, so I have been at his side and directing the medical decisions as he'd asked through all of these hospitalizations, although this current stay has been the most life-threatening and prolonged.  He was sedated and mostly unable to participate in the decisions to preserve his health, so I have made myself available 24/7 and am there with him most days, as well.

Over two weeks' time, Jon received over a dozen units of blood transfused, as he continued to lose dangerous amounts daily.  It was determined over the next 10 days, through 4 endoscopic procedures and 1 Interventional Radiologic (Nuclear Medicine) procedure, that he had more than a dozen serious  bleeding uclers.  These were all treated in the most non-invasive methods possible, as his health was feared too frail to survive traditional surgeries.

At the point that Jon was felt stable enough to be extubated, he immediately developed pneumonia, which was treated with antibiotic medicine, and has since resolved.  Jon was moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a Moderate Care floor in Evanston Northwestern Hospital, where he remains.  It seems certain now that Jon will survive medically, although an extended stay in care for strength and physical rehabilitation is eventually expected.  If all goes very well, he may be "up on his feet" literally and figuratively early in 2018.

Jon loves his children, the band Chicago, UCLA, the Dodgers, his work in DataBase Administration and Management, and sports in general.  More than these, Jon loves life and has been brought back from the brink of death.  You can now help to bring him back from the brink of financial ruin by your help with the following:  medical costs,  insurance payments, household expenses, medical transportation and uncovered rehabilitation costs, replacement of his bed, rugs, bedclothes, and clothing items which were contaminated and incinerated.

Jon wants more than anything to return to the work he loves, and to earn his own way again. He has been without any income since August, and our savings are depleted, but needs to take time to ensure that his health is stable.  Your gift, no matter how small, is much appreciated to help to put his mind at ease with regard to this.
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Organizer

Melissa Green 
Organizer
Zion, IL
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