On Wednesday December 20th , at 5:00 pm, my dad was taken to the Tomball Regional Emergency Department for what we thought was an extreme case of influenza. After spending 17 hours in the ER we were told that he was going to be admitted to the hospital because of a diagnosis of double pneumonia (pneumonia in both lungs) and possibly sepsis (when bacteria enters the bloodstream). As the night went on and they waited for a room to become available in the hospital, his respiratory status worsened and we were told he would be admitted to the CCU (Critical Care Unit) for close observation. On Thursday December 21st, at 11:00 am, just one hour after being moved from the ER to the CCU, we were informed that an intubation procedure and ventilator were necessary for him to breathe. The exact words from the pulmonologist were "his reserves are spent, he is unable to breathe on his own and a ventilator is necessary to keep him alive". After being intubated, the doctors had him on a low level of sedation; because of this he was able to feel and fight the ventilator. The resistance he applied to the ventilator was requiring his lungs to work even harder, and since his lungs were already very sick, he needed to allow his lungs to completely rest. The only way to provide complete rest for his lungs was to use a combination of heavy sedative and a paralytic. Thursday December 21st, at 6:15 pm, he was put into a medically induced coma. The night of the 21st, he was very unstable. He was turned onto his side for a few short seconds and his oxygen saturation dropped into the low 80's and it took several hours for him to return to the low 90's. For the following day he recieved 100% oxygen through his ventilator and his oxygen saturation remained in the low 90's (on 100% oxygen his oxygen saturation should be at 100). On Saturday December 23rd, he remained completely paralyzed and sedated. With this complete rest, his lungs began to use some of the oxygen given to him through the ventilator and his oxygen saturation raised from the low 90's into the mid 90's. With this imporvement, the team of physicians decided to lower the amount of administered oxygen from 100% to 80% to see if he was able to tolerate the decreased oxygen supplementation. For the next couple of days, Sunday December 24th and Monday December 25th, he remained stable and in a medically induced coma with an oxygen saturation in the mid to high 90's on 60% supplemental oxygen. Because of his increased stability, in the evening of Monday December 25th, they decided to discontinue the parlytic and just keep him on a very high dose of sedation. On Tuesday December 26th, the sedation was reduced and for the first time since being admitted to the hospital, he was able to be moved in bed without his oxygen saturation levels plumetting. During the night of the 26th, he began to struggle with his oxygenation and his supplemental oxygen had to be increased from 60% to 90% and his sedative had to be increased as well. Today, December 27th, he remains on the ventilator at 90% oxygen and in a heavily sedated state. When he arrived in the ER a set of blood cultures were drawn, after the full 5 day incubation period, no bacteria or fungi had grown, leaving the doctors to believe that it is a viral infection that is continuing to attack his lungs. For now, all we can do is be patient and hope that the medications he is on can fight the infection and allow his lungs to heal. The doctors have told us to anticipate another week in the CCU on a ventilator, give or take a couple of days. If the ventilator is not effective, the next step would be a tracheostomy. We have been told that this is going to be a very very long road and we are just at the beginning. When he is discharged from the CCU, he will be admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation facility where he will have to remain until a majority of the damage caused to his body is healed.
We are not asking for money for our every day expenses, every dollar donated will go directly to my father's medical bills. We understand that it is Christmas time and cash is tight for most people, but any little bit will help.
It has been a full seven days since he has been admitted to the CCU and he has been in a complete medically induced coma the entire time. It has been seven days since he has spoken to us, it has been 7 days since we have seen his big blue eyes, it has been 7 days since he has held our hands, and it has been 7 days since he has heard us tell him we love him.