This fund is managed by Morgan Phillips who is a co-worker of Marla’s.
My dad’s medical journey began in ‘97 when a virus attacked his heart. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes soon after I was born in 1999 so I have only known my dad to be a sick man. His health declined through the years, eventually forcing him to be unemployed. Five years ago, Dad started to decline more rapidly. He was constantly nauseated, throwing up, losing weight, and not eating. Two and a half years ago he reluctantly began peritoneal dialysis due to the failure of his kidneys. He endured much pain and many sleepless nights. Looking for relief from a constant cough and difficulty breathing, he went to the ER and unknowingly started what would be a long, trudging eleven-month journey that consisted of 15 hospital entries, 7 ambulance rides, 2 hospitals, 4 ICU stays, 5 surgeries, ventilator 3 times, and so much more.
February: initial hospital entry for cough and difficulty breathing, three blockages in heart, two hearts stents but needed three more, venous insufficiency and stasis dermatitis in legs, 3-4 months of healing, couldn't walk
March: GI bleed, ICU entry, home a week, transferred to St. Vincent’s in Birmingham for legs and wound care
April: back in ICU in Huntsville, then home
May: home, dialysis at home, home health, legs wrapped every other day, struggled to walk
June: three entries for e coli, peritonitis, atrial fibrillation, cardioversion, esophageal cardioversion, antibiotics cause yeast infection in abdomen
July: ash split catheter in chest for hemodialysis and a Hickman for antibiotics, rehab for two weeks- ash split broke, replaced ash split, infection in ash split and Hickman, third ash split and second Hickman
August: home on the 9th, back in ER 10th for several reasons, hospital stay about 2 weeks
September: home, dialysis in Meridianville at Fresenius Medical Care every other day, battled low blood pressure, very weak, turned 48
October: home, dialysis every other day, walking progressed, attended niece's wedding
November began by celebrating my 18th birthday with a family trip Lynchburg, TN to eat at Miss Mary Bobo’s. Dad decided to have a Arteriovenous fistula put in his arm and scheduled the surgery for the 15th. The surgery went well save for issues with low blood pressure. On the 16th, dialysis had to emergency stop and he was rushed to the ER because his blood pressure was dangerously low due to the pain medicine from the AV fistula surgery. After fluids, his blood pressure came up and he decided he wanted to go home because it was his and mom’s 26th wedding anniversary. On the 17th, his blood pressure was too low to even begin dialysis, so he was transported to the ER again. He was administered blood pressure support medicine, so he could dialyze. After dialysis, he was not stable enough to go home so he was sent back to the ER. His blood sugar and blood pressure dropped continually. They were forced to put a central line in his neck, but as they laid him down, he went into cardiac arrest and coded. Nurses immediately moved in to do CPR and inserted the ventilator. They quickly did a CT scan to find the source of his breathing problem. The results showed that he had fluid behind his right lung and it was pushing on his esophagus. They put in a chest tube and drained over a liter of fluid. Once stable enough, he was transferred to the ICU. He stayed on the ventilator for a week along with blood pressure support medicine. Once off the ventilator, he went to a regular room to recover.
December began with a rapid decline in health and he was transferred to CCU2 where he spent a little over 2 weeks. His blood pressure dropped, and he went back on the ventilator. It took a week to wean off the ventilator and blood pressure support medicine. His C02 level was high and he was getting very weak, so he once again went back on the ventilator. Mom and dad talked, and dad made the difficult decision to not be put on the ventilator again and would not receive any resuscitation. He came off the ventilator after three days. The day he had it removed, he was smiling, talking, laughing, and enjoying family time. He got weaker by the day and had to begin using a white board to communicate with us. December the 18th he moved from CCU2 to a comfort care room with pallative care because he was not stable enough to come home with hospice. He had renal failure, congestive heart failure, and lung failure. In his last days he was surrounded by lots of family and friends, singing, laughter, and prayers. He spoke of wanting to see Baby Kyle, his son who passed in 2004, and his dad who passed when Dad was 27. He passed away peacefully around 2:10pm December 21, 2017 with is five most cherished girls by his side; his mom, wife, daughter, sister, and niece.
Throughout his long journey, Dad stayed hopeful, faithful, kind, patient, selfless, and humorous. My mom and my grandmother stayed by his side 24/7, switching out nights or both staying at the hospital. This resulted in my mom missing 4 months of work, quickly using up her three weeks of vacation time. Mom and Grandma had many sleepless nights and many worried-filled days. We are eternally grateful for the visits (dad’s favorite), calls, texts, prayers, food, and love that has been poured over our family during this year and the past weeks.
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