In the meantime, doctors were still completely puzzled as to what the rash was that covered her whole body and why had blood clots developed so quickly. Over the next day, Tina was seen by hemtologists, dermatologist, rheumotologists, pulmonary doctors, vascular surgeons, internal medicine doctors, critical care doctors, and so on. Everyone was still puzzled after 48 hours.
After surgery on Saturday, Tina was admitted to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Hospital. She continued on life support until midday Sunday when they were successfully able to excubate her. Her vitals continued to improve and she was taken off of pressure support Sunday evening.
Monday morning came as a shock to us all. It was decided that blood flow was not going to reestablish itself to the foot and the surgeons felt it was best that her right leg be amputated from below the knee. Surgery was originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. However, a short time after speaking with the surgeons, the hematologist came to visit with some news about the rash.
The hematologist, as well as the team of doctors, agreed that they believed Tina suffers from a very rare blood disorder called Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia, or HIT, for short. Heparin is a drug given when blood needs to be thinned for a short period like surgery. My mother received heparin during her hernia surgery as well as during her vascular surgery on Saturday. While heparin is supposed to thin the blood, when sufferers of HIT are given heparin, their blood actually creates blood clots instead. These are the blood clots that became lodged in my mother's foot and leg. Another side effect of HIT is the rash she received as well as very low platelet counts. This causes another hurdle because it is very risky to perform surgery on a patient with low platelet counts. For this reason, the hematologists have asked the surgeons to wait 7-10 days before amputating the leg. This is the period of time the body will need to rid itself of the heparin and restore platelet counts to an acceptable level.
With that being said, my mother is looking at a very long hospital stay. After she has her amputation and is released from the hospital, she will have to be placed in a rehabilitation center for 2-3 weeks. From there, she will have a prosthetic leg and foot made.
Through all of this, Tina is unable to work and short term disability only lasts so long. Her husband will run out of time off at the end of this week and will file for FMLA but as we know, this only secures his job. They will experience a tremendous amount of medical bills and will have copayments to pay for her prosthetic that will be approximately $3,000. All money raised from this will go directly toward medical and living expenses for Tina and her husband.
We appreciate any contributations and we covet your prayers during this time.