Rae Ann Jones
Posted on March 9th, 2018
Her daughter Dawn
I want to share the story of my mom , her hard and difficult battle with ARDS and her fight right down to the very last minutes of her life. (Sepsis and ARDS) I want to share with you a quiet woman but strong she was beautiful, she loved her family and friends. My mom had a huge heart and so much love. She had many fights in her life. She beat gall bladder cancer in 1997, my dad who passed away in 2009 and taking care of me when I was diagnosed in 1977 with juvenile diabetes. She was a “vibrant, young 74-year-old” who loved to camp, go to breakfast with her daughters and hang out with her grandsons.
It was the morning of November 23rd 2017, which has always been a sad day for all of us as my dad passed away on this same day in 2009. But despite the sad memories we were going to have mom come to our home for dinner. Like any other day we called my mom right before we would pick her up to make sure she was ready to head over. When I called her that morning something wasn’t right. She said something was wrong, then she started crying. I kept her on the phone and called 911. When she arrived to the emergency room she said she felt fine, even better. We sat there in the room for a few hours which felt like days to find out what her labs were or what had happened. She was diagnosed with a simple a urinary tract infection but then was told she was in “septic shock” the last stage of sepsis. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) Within 48 hours she was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator. Now we are told she has ARDS.
Those days watching her in the intensive care unit were like being trapped in a nightmare where you can’t wake up. From every minute listening to all of the beeps to every machine to watching the heart monitor go to 190 and her blood pressures go extremely high to extremely low. Every minute of us being anxious watching the respiratory therapist turning up the peep to turning the oxygen up and down. It was a horrible nightmare. Then we were told they were going place her in the prone position and chances of survival were 50%. Every minute of every day was a complete roller coaster. She survived the prone.
We were then told she needed to have a feeding tube and to prepare for the tracheotomy . Feeding tube came and then 4 days later she had the surgery for the tracheotomy. Us girls left there thinking and feeling good after the surgery planning on a rehabilitation facility. She was on her way to a slow recovery. 5 hours after her tracheotomy surgery we were told we all needed to come up to the hospital she had minutes to just a few hours to live. The 2nd worst call I have ever received in my entire life. We lost my beautiful mom 12 hours after her surgery. She fought, she really did her last blood pressure reading was 26/9 and that is when we had to let her go…. We lost her to ARDS on December 21, 2017, she fought the sepsis and lost the battle with ARDS. This is a very devastating diagnosis. My writing this letter started with someone who didn’t even know she had a urinary tract infection. Not one sign at all. From septic shock to ARDS. I want to make everyone aware and bring more attention ~ acute respiratory distress syndrome. I only wish the healthcare industry were more aware of this as well