In early January, Rick started to become ill. When they finally admitted him to the Bellin Hospital on January 14, 2018, he was seriously ill. After a battery of testing, they found he had picked up the bacterial infection, Listeria. It had already caused sepsis, which is a blood infection which is serious in itself. The Listeria infection had already crossed over into the nervous system causing meningitis and encephalitis. Abcesses had formed on his brain stem affecting his ability to breathe on his own. He was put on a ventilator.
The day they decided to place a tracheotomy, to put the ventilator through so he could be more mobile, several things went wrong. They lost his airway for about 5 minutes. He went into respiratory arrest and while doing CPR, they caused the lungs to collapse and he needed chest tubes on both sides. This day set him back quite a bit. It was harder for him to communicate. He became more agitated and frustrated.
Now he developed a blood clot in his lung and is back in ICU on the ventilator. He is still fighting the infections and the infections are still continuing to ravage his whole body. He is very strong. He still keeps fighting.
Rick is a very strong man. Teresa has been by his side. She is a very strong, faith-filled woman. She has continued to run the farm and be there everyday but it is taking it's toll. She and Rick's sons have been milking and feeding the cows. There is no time off for a farmer.
Rick is going to have a very long road ahead of him even after the infections clear. We really have no idea what his deficits will be, but it will take months in rehab in Milwaukee and other skilled nursing facilities. He is still in ICU in Green Bay. He has to be stable enough to even get him to rehab and that hasn't happened yet.
Teresa has had to make a very tough decision. It is time for the cows and livestock to go to auction. Once they are gone, she will be able to be by Rick's side all of the time. She won't have to be in the barn twice a day, every day once they are gone. Of course, there are many other things that happen when you shut down a small business. It's one day at a time now for her and the family.
It has been very difficult for all of us. We all just want Rick to get better. We have no way of knowing what the future holds. We do know that the bills will continue to come in the mail. Farming is a very volatile business, milk prices continue to drop. It has been very difficult for the small, family farm in this day and age. When you operate a small business, you also acquire debt along the way. They have farm equipment payments and maintenance on the buildings. They will eventually have to sell all of the farm equipment but until then, the payments have to be made.
The work is gone, but so is the milk paycheck. Along with the debt, there are travel, food, and lodging expenses that Teresa will need help with as she visits him at the hospital and rehab facilities. There will also be medical expenses that will not be covered by their insurance. Just living expenses of everyday life happen.
To sum everything up, LISTERIA has completely changed the lives of Rick and Teresa. They are such hard workers and great people. Of course, Rick is my brother and I want only the best care for him and I want him to get better. It is so hard watching him fight for his life, but he is tough and stubborn. Teresa is such a loving, caring wife and she deserves to be by his side until he gets better. It is very bittersweet seeing the farm go under these circumstances, but it is the only thing they can do at this time.
I am hoping and praying that people can see it in their hearts to help out such a hard working man in his time of need. Rick is fighting for his life and Teresa needs to be there for him. Friends and neighbors have been wonderful. They are in need of some financial support while they go through this very difficult time.
Please help them out if you can! This is all happening to them now. Any donation will be put to good use immediately.
Thank you so very much!
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