Paul Lapan

Tribute

Posted on February 2nd, 2018

Ellie, Paul's daughter

My father suffered from heart disease due to his diabetes. (Sepsis and Diabetes) He was a hardworking, kind, genuine, caring, funny, and perfectly imperfect man. He took care of his family, loved his wife, and dreamed of being a grandfather. One October day my dad began to have symptom related to the stomach flu. About two days later we brought him to the emergency room and they told us he had the stomach flu. They kept him overnight to monitor is kidney function due to loss of fluids. About 2 days later the doctors informed us that he did not have the stomach flu. It was sepsis.

That night we said goodbye to my dad and told him we would be back to visit him in the morning. Around 12am I received a phone call that my dad had gone into cardiac arrest and they were trying to revive him. We arrived 15 minutes later and the doctor was still performing CPR. My mom begged his lifeless body to come back to us and that’s when the doctor finally got a pulse. My dad was then put on life support and given an echocardiogram. During the echo they found an infection in his heart valve which was causing the sepsis. We were filled with so much hope because they finally found the source of his mystery infection.

About 24 hours later I was in the hospital chapel praying to God that I wouldn’t lose the best dad in the world. I sat in a seat in the emergency room and that’s when I saw my aunt frantically running down the hallway and calling my name. I knew why she was looking for me but I didn’t want to face it. I asked “Is he leaving me?” And she said “I think so honey, please come with me.” She walked me back to the intensive care unit where I found my sister on her knees with her head in her hands, crying hysterically. It took every bit of strength I had in my body to open that hospital room door and see my dad receiving CPR, but I had to say goodbye. I turned and looked at my mom, and for some reason the only words that came out were, “Mom we will be okay, no matter what happens. I promise. “That’s when I heard the doctors say those words that you never want to hear…”I’m calling it, he’s gone. I’m so sorry.” That day is burned into my memory forever. That was the day that sepsis took my hero from me, he was only 50. I want to raise awareness so that proper diagnosis can hopefully become more prevelant.

Due to sepsis’s flu-like symptoms, it can sometimes be overlook or misdiagnosed by the flu. Please speak up for yourself and for your loved ones if you feel that further testing is necessary.