Paul took a week of vacation from June 11-June 15, we were able to get a lot accomplished in this week. Paul was clearly not up to his regular self at the end of the week, I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what it was. I had made him a doctor’s appointment for the following week. By Monday June 18, he was really struggling with standing up and when walking he had to hold on to the wall. I spoke with the doctor’s office and the doctor was out of town and the nurse said to go to the ER. Paul was admitted to the hospital on June 18th, they ran so many tests to try to figure out what exactly was wrong. He had blood work done, a CT scan, MRI, then a body MRI, then a Lumbar puncture. He was brave throughout! I know he was scared and I was SO scared but had to be strong for him! Finally they diagnosed him with the autoimmune syndrome of Guillian-Barre Syndrome. We had never even heard of this! He had a treatment of IVIG, Intravenous Immune globulin, which is a blood product made of antibodies prepared from the serum of between 1000 and 15000 donors per batch! He had 5 days of this treatment which was given every other day. He was released to Encompass of Richardson Rehab from June 26 thru July 7th. He came home on July 7th walking with a cane. The next couple of days consisted of evaluations from Home Health care and scheduling physical therapy and occupational therapy. By Thursday of that week he was having trouble walking and getting up! I made an appointment with his doctor and on July 13th he was admitted back into the hospital! He had a treatment of the IVIG in the ER and then was admitted into the hospital. By the next day he not only could not walk but he could not move his arms or hands, or legs or feet or toes! He was transferred up to the ICU because it now was affecting his breathing! This was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed! He was given the next level of treatment, Plasmapheresis, this is a process in which the plasma is separated from the blood cells and the bad antibodies are replaced with good antibodies. He had 6 of this treatments (again every other day) He was in the ICU from July 13 thru July 27th. He was transferred to Encompass of Plano from July 27 thru August 10th. He was up and walking and doing physical therapy. About mid morning August 10th I received a phone call and they said he was having trouble getting up and walking! He was then admitted back into the hospital! They ran additional tests and started a steroid IV. Finally on August 14 they started the plasmapheresis again thru August 22, every other day. He still could not stand or walk; but they transferred him to Encompass of Plano on August 23rd. Little by little I saw improvement and he could walk with the help of a walker. On September 8, he came home with a rollater walker. Instead of Home Health care this time, they suggested an outpatient physical therapy for 6 hours a day, Monday thru Friday. He started this program September 13th. He is doing SO much better and actually is walking without using the rollater around the house!
I’m praying that he keeps getting stronger every day and can resume his normal routine. He loves his job and wants to return to work so badly! Everyone at the school has been so supportive, all the cards, balloons, posters with well wishes and goodies! he so appreciates! He has worked as a custodian for RISD for 25 years!
We are also so grateful for the doctors and nurses, and physical and occupational therapists etc. but the medical bills are very scary! Thank goodness he has insurance through the school but the deductible and co insurance is so much! Who would think this would ever be something we would have to worry about! And on top of all of that the school insurance year goes from September thru August, so his timeline of June thru September now has crossed two years and so the deductible and coinsurance must be met again!
Therefore the reason for this page! Any help is appreciated and would relief some of the financial burden that is upon us!
Thank you so much!!
Mary Trimble for Paul McDonald, my brother