The doctors began giving him a blood thinner called Heparin. His stomach started getting bigger and his hands were turning purple and were extremely cold. The doctors did not know what was going on so they did an emergency surgery on May 8th and cut open his stomach, what they found was our worst nightmare. Grandpa was having an allergic reaction to the Heparin, also known as HIT (heparin induced thrombocytopenia). They found dead intenstines inside of him and gangrene was starting to take over his body. It has been surgery after surgery since then.
The allergic reaction has resulted in him having a tracheotomy, three abdominal surgeries removing most of his intestines (most healthy people have close to 20 feet worth of intestines, my grandpa has MAYBE 3 feet left), a colostomy bag, a feeding tube and amputation of both hands up to the elbow and right foot. His toes on his left foot are also turning black and will probably have to be amputated as well.
Bill is only 73 years YOUNG and deserves to live.. and he has not stopped fighting, that's for sure! He also served in the Navy. He was involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Embargo of Cuba in 1962 through 1964. He also served in Panama and Hawaii. His wife, Shirley Stewart, and him just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary together this month. Shirley has not left Bills side. She has been living in a hotel room with their dog that is just 3 minutes away from the hospital. She has to eat out for all of her meals. Her hotel room is close to $100 a night and she has been there for over a month now. She dedicates her days by getting to the hospital by 7 in the morning and spending her entire day next to Bill. Only time she leaves is to eat and to go to bed. At this point, she will not be leaving any time soon. There are more surgeries to go.
We are praying all day every day that a miracle happens. There is a reason Bill is still here fighting and none of us are giving up on him! We truly believe that the only reason he is still here is because of our prayers and for all of our family going and visiting him. Him seeing all of the people he has here to support him has pushed him through this!
Please help Bill and Shirley and please pray for our family and help us in any way that you can. Any amount of donation is appreciated and will go a long way. Thank you so much.
- Marshall Welch
- Marshall Welch
- Doug Holschbach
- Jeff Crinklaw
Organizer and beneficiary
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