In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, they found 2 100% blockages, 1 90% blockage, and 1 cronic blockage. They installed 3 stents and an Impella, which is a miniaturized heart pump. She was placed in a medically induced coma and her prognosis was not good.
The next day, she was transferred to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and was admitted to the Cardiac Transplant ICU. After an initial assessment, the cardiologist told me, “Your wife is very sick. She needs a heart transplant. I’m sorry.”
We weren’t going to give up that easily.
Eventually, the hospital decided to try a therapy that had only been approved by the FDA a month prior, a Left Ventricle Assistive Device as a Destination Therapy or LVAD. In order to get the surgery, she would have to be approved by a committee of 20 specialists, including surgeons and social workers. It was to be an uphill battle, but one in which we prevailed. Her surgery was scheduled for Oct 26.
She was successfully implanted with a pump that assists the left side of her heart, which was significantly damaged. To run the pump, she must carry a miniaturized computer and batteries with her at all times. The package weighs about 6 pounds and myst be powered by a wall charger, batteries, or a car adapter at all times.
She spent about 45 days in Intensive Care and another week on the Cardiac Progression floor at Baylor. She has finally been cleared by her doctors to begin rehabilitation now.
Its been a physical and emotional roller coaster for both of us. Fortunately, she slept through most of it.
The bills are starting to come in no. Fortunately, insurance has picked up most for the bill, which is already over $340,000. Total projections are for the bill to reach $900,000.
This has been a difficult request to write, because I’d like to think that I can handle everything myself. Not only are the co-pay bills piling up, but I also need to complete the household projects that I’ve been putting off so she will have a stress-free environment when she gets home.
Suzie is expected to make a full recovery, albeit with some modifications to her life. She is expected to be able to return to work after she is cleared by her doctors.
Her long-term prognosis is good, but there are still difficult decisions to make. She is not currently on a transplant list, partially due to her surgery and partially due to her condition. Once she is strong enough, they may reassess her for a heart transplant, but that is a bridge to cross later.
Let me end with a huge thank you for all of the support, prayers, and visits from her family, friends and co-workers. There is no doubt that she could have made it this far without it.
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