Spreading the Love for Leroy

Leroy Simms had to have bypass surgery 16 years ago and was doing well up to a few years ago. He started having heart problems again and went in for several tests including a few hospitalizations due to heart complications.

In December he was lifting a very heavy bag at work and had bad pains in his chest. After seeing his doctor and being placed in the hospital right after Christmas, he was released to go home but had several follow up tests that they had planned over the coming months.

He was told in his last follow up appointment at the beginning of March that they were sending him in to have a six way bypass surgery at Sinai hospital on March 22, 2018. We got to the hospital at 6am on the 22nd and he was in good spirits before the surgery. We were told it would last for nine hours but his total surgery ended up lasting thirteen and a half hours. Around 7pm they told us that they were having problems with his aorta. It was damaged during the surgery and caused major bleeding problems that they worked on most of the day to get the bleeding to stop. Later that night when he was finally out of surgery, the doctor came out and advised that they managed to repair the aorta but they were only able to complete one of the bypasses and not all six. He was unable to be removed from the life support machine after the surgery as his heart was too weak to pump itself. 

The next day the hospital had to transport my father-in-law from Sinai to the University of Maryland hospital as they are more equipped to handle the life support machines. The first few days at University were extremely hard on him as well as the family. His nurse was wonderful and it was crazy to watch as he constantly had to adjust medications every few minutes to make sure his levels remained stable. Unfortunately for Leroy, every time they try to give him pain medications, it drops his blood pressure so they were consistently struggling to keep everything as level as possible. He already had issues with his heart being in A-fib and was on medication for it prior to this surgery. Initially it was something they were also going to try and fix during the first surgery but were unable to do so. Since then they tried using the paddles multiple times to shock his heart and try to get it out of A-fib. Obviously it wasn't going to work as that was a pre-existing  condition that wasn't going to change without medication or surgery.

The doctors were advising they were going to give the heart time to rest and were considering an LVAD pump but they advised that they believed he was getting blood clots around the heart and went into surgery on March 28th. When they came out of surgery the doctors said his heart was actually beating too fast to be placed on the LVAD pump and they were able to successfully take him off of the life support machine. They left his chest open with an antibiotic sponge and went back in two days later to close the chest. Since then he has had numerous scans, echo cardiograms, blood transfusions, swallowing tests, mind tests and went for a brain scan. He was still having lots of trouble breathing but since they took him off the sedation, he was alert and responding. He gets very disoriented and actually fell out of his hospital bed  a little before midnight on Monday April 9th. When they got to him he did not have a heartbeat so they gave him CPR for several minutes as they would get a heartbeat and lose it again followed by multiple tests and scans. Eventually they got him sedated, back on a ventilator and a pacemaker. They took him in late Tuesday April 10th to replace the tube that was supposed to be draining the fluid off his lungs but was not working. The new tube works great and got so much fluid out of his lungs and he is breathing so much better!

Sharon has been staying at the hospital non-stop with him and she is concerned on how they will manage from here on out. Once Leroy does get out of the hospital, he will be sent to a rehab facility for additional therapy. He will not be able to go back to work and she has missed so much time and may not be able to go back to work herself as she may need to care for Leroy full time. I am setting up this fund to help with medical expenses, bills and other general things that they may need especially over the next few months. Any amount would help them. I would also like to send out a big thank you to all of the family and friends who have sent so much love and support throughout this time.
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Anita Cleary Simms 
Bay Ridge, MD
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