Dec 21 2019 my husband wasn’t feeling well, I went to get some OTC meds to help when I arrived back he was being loaded into an ambulance. Come to find out my husband had an aortic dissection and spinal stroke. After 8 hours of surgery he made it but could no longer feel anything below his chest.
He remained in ICU for 4 months with daily fevers of 103 degrees or better. Doctors had no answers. I became very concerned and took him to another hospital for a 2nd opinion. The hospital also could not find the cause for fever. They discharged him after another month with the same ongoing daily fevers.
By this time he was 80 lbs. lighter and dying. He had sores so big on his butt and legs, I was surprised he was alive.
He was home maybe a week before I once again took him into another (3rd) hospital. This is where we learned my husband’s surgeon left a 21-inch towel inside his chest during his open heart surgery. I also learned what pressure ulcers were and sepsis. The doctors let me know just how close he was to death.
They removed the towel but the sores were so badly infected from the prior 2 hospitals and lack of care that they had to do a double below-knee amputation. (Sepsis and Surgery, Sepsis and Bacterial Infections, Sepsis and Pressure Ulcers, Sepsis and Amputations)
My husband was 45yo, active, and a business owner. We have 2 children who were 4 and 6 and the time. I was a stay-at-home mom. It took several months and rehabilitation just for my husband to begin feeling better and gaining weight.
We are so thankful he defeated death 2 times in 4 months.
We have taken a huge loss as a whole. Our home was taken, the only home our children ever knew. We lost our business , one of our cars and had to move to another state just to get help from family. My husband has been in such a state of depression feeling like it’s his fault. He has refused to leave the bed and now is dealing with ossification.
I worry he will allow himself to waste away and our children and I will be without him. Life has been so different and has flipped so quickly. It’s hard to be thankful and complain all at once but it’s hard not to also.
We still struggle with a lot of the post-sepsis symptoms along with being able to support our family and afford the medical items he so desperately needs. I currently have our only car for sale because the Medi-Cal wheelchair just doesn’t fit and he needs incontinence products which cost a ridiculous amount.
Our children, although young, have been strong, brave, helpful and supportive. They haven’t had a Christmas since 2018,
2019 was spent in ICU, Dec 6th 2020 we just lost our home and now we barely get by so they won’t be getting much.
They never complain and we do our best. I know things will get better but what this has taught me is……
-There is no way to plan for things like this, they just come, ready or not.
-There is hardly any education given to prevent and warn about sepsis by hospitals.
-The resources to help with living expenses, medical supplies, mental health, Christmas gifts, housing is slim and at very high demand. Lists for housing are 10years where we are!
I never understood how the “system” worked because i was blessed not to need it up til now. I was ignorant to the challenges financially, emotionally and physically
There needs to be more education, resources, and support. to help families and patients. Hopefully, it will save another family from the pain the unknown caused/ is causing my family.
We continue to look for the positive, pray, thank god and keep a brave face. We know a brighter day will come and we will be stronger and hopefully be able to help others by spreading awareness.
Thank you, God Bless