Jennifer's Gold Canyon Page is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Branislava Raketic.
Rocko had this very sudden onset of back pain end of February. By early March he was admitted to Methodist hosp via Er. Diagnosed w Ankylosing Spondylitis plus spinal stenosis x 2 areas, doctors not in agreement on procedures. They did agree he needed a disk biopsy. Problem w A.S. is that it calcified areas of the spine already. Anyway, the biopsy was negative but it took a tremendous toll on Rocko's physical health. Much pain and weakness on left. Rocko was sent to rehab to hopefully get stronger and then follow up elsewhere. He came home early April w home health and a walker and heavily medicated. We began the Chicago journey of doctors at Rush & esp w Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. REPEATING every test, xray, etc as done at Methodist. Confirmed diagnosis of A.S. Spine surgeon ordered 2 more mri's. By now he has a surgical appt to learn plan for surgery in June! Well it didn't happen as Rocko had a significant change in symptoms. After many calls w surgeon office we decided St Mary's via ambulance. The surgeon was at a spinal conference that week. Rocko couldn't take the trip to Rush. Luckily St Mary's has a wonderful neurosurgeon on staff and he is on faculty at UIC (not U of C) in Chicago. St Mary's admitted Rocko, adressed pain and current issues. Dr ordered mri which showed an epidural hematoma, a pool of blood in lower spine. Surgery now urgent, off to UIC (complicated surgery plus other health issues) on Tuesday. Delays due to Coumadin reversal. Finally surgery was late Wednesday evening thru Thursday 2a.m. Rocko underwent a spinal decompression surgery to deal with 2 areas of stenosis complicated by A.S.! That pool of blood turned out to be a fully formed blood clot under his spine. Making this very rare case. Rocko remembers none of this, he lost about 3 weeks with the toxic build-up of meds affecting his kidneys. 2 rounds of anesthesia 2 days apart, all took on a toll on poor Rocko. Due to the clot, a spinal angiogram was needed to be sure no other clots where visible. Very bad reaction upon waking from anesthesia. He ended up in icu for a week. Being scanned, poked, prodded, xrayed, etc to be sure no clots or other issues. The "delirium" required all non vital meds be stopped (as allowed) esp narcotics. He went through extensive blood work, even 2 arterial blood draws to find a high co2 level. This kept Rocko from moving much as one normally would after surgery. Rocko had bouts of lucidity but short term. Finally after 2 weeks they were ready to send him to rehab. Rocko came back home to his fave rehab floor at Methodist. Wonderful people all around! Many recognized Rocko from previous visit and saw the change in him. Still smiling but dazed. It took another week and letting Rocko sleep for 2 days before he came back to us. He was only getting catnaps adding to the delirium. Rocko had his staples removed at Methodist and they were in constant communication w the surgeon. Some issues w the healing, he ended up with a wound vac and again great caring staff made sure Rocko had all he needed. Unfortunately Rocko contracted mrsa and a staph infection in the wound area. Rocko was stable except for the meds & care of wound, insurance wanted him out of rehab. Kudos to Cheryl & Teresa for coordinating in Rocko's best interest. He was discharged from Methodist rehab July 25th and went straight to St Mary's for a post op appt w surgeon. Surgeon promptly admitted Rocko to St. Mary's for treatment of infections via antibiotic iv's. Rocko stayed there almost 2 weeks. He is now home with home health nurse 3 xs a week to check on him. PT 3 xs a week, Rocko does very well with his therapy but legs very weak especially the left. Bri & I run the iv's 2ce daily at home. Rocko sees the Dr weekly for labs and wound check. Healing slowly but surely. Rocko is home bound w open site, low immunity, etc... he's moving somewhat better (post surg) w a different pain of healing. What's next? Early September the ivs will be done (35 days) and Rocko will be on an oral antibiotic for some time. PT at home continues until he is healed and able to walk further. We are very unsure of the future, it's day by day for now. Thanks for the love & support!!
Or..... 3 hospitals, 7 mris, 1 major surgery, countless procedures w ct scans, blood work, xrays, 2 infections, iv antibiotics at home, home health nurse and pt. Long term healing required Lol....the short version.
Any amount will help no matter how big or small! Rocko needs our help! Let's show him how truly loved and appreciated he is! To some he is a long time coworker and to others he is family...but to all he is loved!