Tyler Kawahara


I had been feeling under the weather for a few weeks but attributed it to not taking as good a care of myself as I should. I was a fairly heavy drinker and so decided to stop. Over the next 5 days I felt terrible, possibly due to withdrawals but I cant be sure. I remember going upstairs to lay down and the effort made me short of breath. When I went to lay down, the breathing situation got worse, to the point where I had to stand up. I asked my wife to call 911.

The EMTs showed up and determined my blood oxygen was normal. Good news I guess, but I felt like I was suffocating. Very unpleasant. I was given oxygen in the ambulance but the 10 minute ride seemed like an eternity. I remember being wheeled into the ER, but I dont remember a lot after that.

Apparently, I coded (heart stopped) but was revived before being diagnosed with septic shock. (Sepsis and Septic Shock) I was intubated (ventilator) with feeding tube and I have to assume I was heavily drugged at that point. I had crazy nightmares of dying, bad things happening to my family, being kidnapped. I was on a ventilator for over 14 days and was lucky enough to wake up a day before a tracheotomy was to be performed. It was at the insistence of my wife and daughter (who happens to be a nurse) that it was delayed. I could not speak or swallow for several days which was very frustrating to me.

Overall, I was in ICU for 20 days; awake for 3 days. For my family though, the ordeal was exponentially worse. I am so lucky to have that support system and I offer my help to anyone wanting a sympathetic ear. My doctor told me I had about 1/1000 chance of surviving this.

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