Please help my sister Cheryl (Scheuler) Byrd and her husband Richard Byrd. Richard has been in the ICU for over 30 days. Cheryl has limited mobility due to post surgical nerve damage in her leg and relies heavily on Richard for help.
Doctors have been fighting to save Richard's life since December 1st. Richard was injured in a freak accident while building a garage and woodworking shed at their home. One of the walls fell, striking him in the back of the head, smashing him face first into the concrete floor and breaking his glasses. He was treated and released from the Lake Ozark Hospital Emergency Department. Two days later, Richard suffered chest pain and had trouble breathing. He called 911 and was found collapsed and unconscious by the Rocky Mount fire department. They rushed him back to the Lake Ozark Emergency Department. Due to the severity of issues with his heart and lungs, doctors determined that Richard needed to be life flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia 90 miles away.
It has been, and continues to be a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs. The right side of Richard's heart had stopped working, there was a blood clot in his lung and air pockets in his heart, which baffled the doctors, necessitating calls nationwide to other doctors for consult. He was put on a heart/lung bypass machine (ECMO). His lungs kept filling up with blood because of a tear in his esophagus. The life saving blood thinners that you must be on when on the ECMO to prevent clots also meant that the tiniest cut would bleed profusely. Due to the bleeding problem, Richard was unable to be on the blood thinners, which caused life threatening complications with the ECMO. Another complication is that the ECMO gets blood to vital organs, but not to extremities meaning that amputation is a possibility. Richard also developed multiple hospital acquired infections - sepsis, staph, C-diff and ventillator acquired pneumonia.
Richard is now off the ECMO and his heart and lungs are slowly improving, but unfortunately due to the massive amount of medications and antibiotics required to save his life, he is now in acute kidney failure and acute liver failure. The doctors say that it is possible that he can recover from both...if they can get the infections under control that are ravaging his body.
For much of this ordeal, Richard has been in a medically induced coma. For brief periods, doctors have brought him out of sedation to check his cognitive ability. He squeezes his wife and kid's hands and has been able to communicate by pointing to letters on a board (it's impossible to talk when you are intubated). He gestures at them and points to letters spelling the message, "Eat. Take care of yourself." It is evident that he is more concerned about their welfare than his own. To his doctors he has messaged, "Thank you for saving my life."
Fortunately, Cheryl and Richard have insurance, but the out of pocket expenses (hotel, food, gas, co-pays, lost wages from time off from work) are racking up quickly. When Richard gets out of ICU, he will need to go to rehab. It is impossible to predict all the potential future costs they will need to incur. First and foremost, they need your prayers. Please also consider donating ANY amount through this link to help Cheryl, Richard and their family. If the Lord places it upon your heart to donate, may you be blessed tenfold for your generosity! Also, please consider sharing this on your social media so that we are able to reach as many potential donors as possible. All donations will be transferred directly to Cheryl and Richard. If you have any questions about this process or about the campaign, feel free to email me by using the contact link (envelope icon) on the campaign page.
Thank you and God bless!
- Lou and Vicki Sharp
- Quentin and Shawna Byrd
- A friend
- Monica Banchero
Organizer and beneficiary
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