My mum has recently gone through heart surgery where there were complications when replacing the aortic valve. She now has ARDS and I am so worried that she won't get through this - I notice on the website that in times like this the survival rate is very low. I'm not really sure what I want to hear - perhaps just to see that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel knowing that this is a slow recovery process.

13 Replies

  • Hi Fiona

    So sorry to hear your news about your Mum. I do hope your Mum has good results from the aortic valve replacement and her recovery is good.

    I don't know much about Ards but I think there are people who do recover and I hope your Mum is one of these.

    BLF have a page on ARDS but I think the best persons to speak to about the situation with your Mum is her own specialist consultant or her GP to help give you a better understanding of your Mum's own situation.

    So sorry I can't be of further help.

    All good wishes to you and your Mum

    BC x

    Here is BLF page on Ards (includes link to download of an information sheet)

    BLF Helpline for further information and advice:

    03000 030 555

    Lines open normal working week days 10am to 5pm

    BLF Home Page :

  • Hi BC thanks very much for your email.

    The valve replacement surgery had a few complications but seems now not to be the thing causing the problem. Thank you for the links to ARDS this is much appreciated.


  • Hi Fionnamorley, People do survive Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. There's no doubt its a rough ride but having got through it myself 3 years ago I can tell you to remain positive.


  • Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your email it is great to know that there is hope and that people do recover from this life threatening illness. I guess it is only time that will tell. My mum went through her Operation for heart surgery on 19th December and has been sedated most of the time with the exception of 2 days when I saw her awake albeit the op has also caused a stroke to the right hand side of her body.

    I really appreciate you letting me know that you had this and that I should remain positive. I can only hope that everything gets better.

    How long were you in hospital with this? Was it weeks / months?



  • I initially went in to hospital with double pneumonia which turned into ARDS. I was sedated for one month and was in ITU for a total of 10 weeks, I then had another 6 weeks on the wards.

    I'm sure your mum is in good hands and my experience of sedation was one of amazing dreams so she's in a good place right now, try not to worry Fionna.

    I hope everything turns out well for you and your mum.


  • Thanks for your response Tony it certainly gives me something to be positive about. Now I guess it is a waiting game willing my mum each day to be strong enough to get through it. The doctor said her age was against her she is 74 but who knows :-)

  • My heart goes out to your mum, having been there twice myself. But that's the thing to hang on to, I've had ARDS twice yet I'm still here! ;-) it is an horrendous thing to go through and, yes, it is extremely dangerous, but not necessarily 'the end', so try to be positive as best you can. Wishing you both the best of wishes during this traumatic time.

  • Thanks for your reply Struggle. My family (dad and brother) met with the consultant yesterday and he said her lungs were really bad They are trying to lower the assisted oxygen levels at the moment and early next week all going well she will get a tracheostomy which should help as they won't have to sedate her as much due to the tube being down her throat so we just have to wait and see. Just wish they would say that she will live but they say 50/50 I guess they cant say these things just in case :-(

    It's great news that you recovered from this illness. It must have been really difficult for you as it seems bad and so dangerous

  • I'm afraid it's largely a waiting game at this stage. If it helps at all, your mum will be so beautifully drugged up that everything will probably have unreal and dreamlike qualities for her - it is you who has to live through the harsh realities! Look at it this way, ARDS hasn't 'done for' her yet so there is hope, and that's all any of us can ask. It's amazing what medicine and technology can achieve - hold on in there :-)

  • Thanks I really appreciate the information that you have given me it does make me feel better now all I do is wish the time away - it is mad when I see her lying there she does look as though she is suffering and I feel so awful for her so it is good to know that she won't be suffering. Thank you

  • sorry not beened on her for s fews weeks been ill and still the same what is ARDS please xx ann


  • Hi ann. Ards is acute respiratory distress syndrome.

    I've attached the link below as I would be hopeless at explaining it thanks

  • Article in Mail on Sunday about clinical trials in eight UK hospitals using a new drug called Traumakine for ARDS. Might be of interest . Very best wishes Helen .

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