Father in law update after hypoxia

So I have 2 other posts for those who don't know me one is "he's a fighter" and the other is "post traumatic amnesia"

I thought I'd update in case anyone wants any encouragement or hope for their situations. On the 8th of November my father in law suffered a massive heart attack due to a blocked artery. He recieved CPR but it was over 50 minutes before they could get his heart going again. The Drs gave us a very grim prognosis for the first day. His chances of recovery/survival given the stats, were somewhere around 4-6%. He is 55 years old and very tall and strong. The first ten days looks very bleak. He went from artificial coma,to vegetative state, to minimally conscious... and today... here's where we are.

Another update for anyone who's interested;

So my father in law is physically going from strength to strength. He has had his trache out. He can now sip water and eat yoghurt. His physios and o/t are helping him walk daily and try things like brushing his teeth. (He picked up the toothbrush and began brushing but with the wrong end) he apparently told a nurse the names of our children when they looked in his photo album. Yet on other days/moments he babbles and seems very confused.

Does anyone know if hallucinating is part of recovery? He seems to occasionally reach for things that aren't there and saw a stain on my sister laws shirt that wasn't there. He has been sleeping awfully most night 1-2 hours but last night slept all night. There was some concern about him sleeping TOO much yesterday.my gut feeling is the poor guys isnjust trying to heal and he's having a lot asked of him physically. He asks for his wife by name and says "I love you"which is music to her ears. The anger and frustrations seem to have MOSTLY subsided since the trach has been out and he's been able to speak in small sentences.

The nurses also said he's been reading the credit of family guy and the rugby scores which is another positive. He still "zones out" a lot. The neurologist says that he's been over stimulated but I guess with all the physio etc and family visiting it's bound to.

There's mention of him leaving and going to a neuro rehab maybe next week as he's still on the cardio ward for now and they've been wonderful but aren't really equipped or qualified to help him as much as he could be.

So that's it guys. We're a million miles from where we ever thought he'd be 2 weeks ago. It's a long journey but on day 27 we're all hopeful :)

8 Replies

  • Well done to you all. How wonderful that he is doing so well, so early. It will be a long road yet but how encouraging! Onwards and upwards!

  • That is great progress! It is still very early days and it is to be expected that he will still have bouts or days of confusion. Although he is out of the coma his brain will still feel like it's in a thick fog and will be impossible for him to always make sense of what is going on around him. I can remember very little of those weeks after coming out my coma and my memory was a nano second long so kept repeating myself a zillion times apparently! Sleep is good as it is when his brain can rest and recover. That's very good that they are going to send him to neuro rehab as there he will get the appropriate specialised help to aid further recovery.

    Best wishes to all

  • Hi Curly. I think I told you that my next-door neighbour (more like family) had a heart attack a few weeks ago and had to be sectioned owing to his bizarre hallucinations and behaviour.

    It was so strange for such a mild mannered man to exhibit such a personality change but, cutting a long story short, he's now striding off to his snooker club twice a week (he's retired aged 82) and having lost a few pounds looks really fit and well.

    I'm so pleased to hear of your dad-in-law's progress ; long may it continue & please keep the updates coming ! xx

  • please join the group anoxic brain injuries on Facebook. It's a fabulous group which I'm also a member of. There are hundreds of people caring for loved ones who have had similar experiences as your father Inlaw and the advice there is priceless.

  • Thank you. I will join now x

  • My mother was in a terrible way just like this - 1 hour sleep per night, screaming and crying constantly, hallucinating from brain injury and delirium. The day she started making miraculous improvements was the day she got into specialist neuro rehabilitation. The hospital told us that they wanted to stop feeding her through her tubes (essentially to let her die). Now with the proper care and a huge reduction in unnecessary medication she is a different person. The consultant in the hospital told us that mum would scream for the rest of her life and be aggressive and that we would just have to get used to it. She hasn't screamed for three months now. My advice would be push to get him into rehab as soon as humanly possible - they are just not equipped in hospitals for this once the patient is medically stable. Mum was on a stroke ward for 3 months, but it was not the right place and she got worse there - they used to trap her in her bed and leave her to scream.

  • Oh my gosh, your poor mum, -and poor you,I cannot imagine how distressing. Yes my mother in law is pushing to get him into a neuro rehab. I am not sure what the hold up is. He still has a cathater and a line in and we're testing him for infection last night . I think, if it was all clear that they were going to try and transfer him .x

  • Dear curlycuz,

    Wow - such a lovely update to hear - what great progress is just a few weeks. You are probably sick of being told its still early days but it is - so hang on in there and fingers crossed you Dad-in-law can get his rehab bed soon.

    Take care xxx

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