On June 9/16, Wynona had a fever & chills that seemed to be the flu. Her fever decreased later in the day, but by morning she was disoriented, walking around her home breathing heavily and couldn't catch her breath. Her temperature was over 103 degrees and her heart rate was 130 so she was taken to ER by ambulance to the Langley Hospital. Her symptoms worsened leading to intubation with ventilator, during which she went into cardiac arrest for 7 minutes. By midnight on June 10, she was transferred to Surrey Memorial Hospital ICU for dialysis as her kidneys went down to 12%. The family was called in...we were told the worst. There was a very slim chance of survival with this condition at this point, but the medical team was waiting to see how her numbers would go. Later we would find out that the doctor that admitted her went off his shift, came back the next day and checked in with the doctor that had been taking care of Wynona during the night, that her numbers were rising. He couldn't believe it and told us later that he thought the night doctor was "messing with him". He told us that she was the worst case scenario of survival in the Lower Mainland that night.
On June 11th, the ICU doctors informed her husband Brian, that Group A Streptococcus bacteria had attacked her and she was septic with this infection. They gave her numerous antibiotics, continuted dialysis, ventilator, and a drug to keep her blood pressure from falling further. Prayers from immediate family & friends were on a 24-7 alert.
She surprised the doctors and survived the night, gradually improving over the next 2 weeks until the ventilator could be removed. Her kidneys also began functioning on their own again, but we became aware that the medication used to keep her alive had cut off the circulation to her hands and feet. She would have to have a quadruple amputation when she was well enough to withstand surgery.
After 6 weeks of gradual improvement she was transferred to Abbotsford Hospital where she had three separate surgeries removing both legs below the knee; her left hand, and all her fingers except a partial thumb on her right hand. By late September 2016, she was transferred to Langley Hospital to recover from the surgeries enough to begin physiotherapy. In late October 2016, she was admitted to Laurel Place to begin strength training and learning to use prostheses. Seven weeks of intense effort, she was able to come by December 14th...yay...just before Christmas!
Wynona is an accomplished piano player and teacher and has spent many of her years using her talents playing for weddings, church services and other celebratory events. Life has many twists and turns in it, however Wynona's outlook is bright. She has said that she is glad that she wasn't a young woman when this happened to her, having to look after children during those crucial years would have been extremely difficult. In fact, when visiting HER in the hospital, you woul come out from your visit encouraged.
On top of the circumstance of having gone septic this past year, she has suffered tremendously in her life with a chronic condition called Crohn's disease, and more recently, curvature of the lumbar vertebrae and scar tissue caused by arthritis.
This has been a HUGE financial and emotional struggle for Wynona and Brian, who has been forced to completely retire to become her 24-7 care aid. Thanks to the benefit of extended health, Brian has been able to begin making purchases on some prosthetics, however continued expenses for home care aids, medical equipment still abound and will for the future. Wynona has a motorized wheelchair, but is unable to use it as they have no vehicle that would be able to transport it to various outings to give her the mobility needed for some good quality of life.
Financial contributions would be extremely helpful at this time. If you are unable to contribute financially, please share this with your friends and families. Thank you for your consideration on behalf of me (Cathy Hughes), my husband Greg, Wynona, Brian & their daughters, Candice & Yvette.
- Leonard Bellamy
- Leonard Linda Bellamy
Organizer and beneficiary
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