ICU with pneumothorax : Hello My sister was... - ICUsteps


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ICU with pneumothorax

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My sister was admitted to the ICU 28 days ago with pneumonia and later pneumothorax. She is still on a ventilator and also ECMO machine. I am so sad that there isn't a day without tears. She is overseas and I have not seen her yet. I am afraid of seeing her in that position. Doctors are doing all that they can but her lungs aren't doing its job. Is there a timeframe for this or do we just hope for a miracle and wait.

11 Replies

Keep hoping, everyone on here are walking talking miracles, they can and do happen. Do see her if you can xx


Go see her.

My dad was admitted to icu on January 5 this year suffering double pneumonia of the worst kind: fungal.

On January 31 he was intubation and put on ecmo straightaway. Both ventilator and ecmo were operating 100%. He even was given nor gas to try and open up his alveoli a bit.

While on ecmo he suffered three pneumothorax and severe heart palpitations from the drugs he was given. Since he also suffers from an autoimmune desease it was to be very difficult to save him.

We were told three times that chances of improving were small, even near unexsiting.

That 'talk' isn't the one you want to have.

He came off ecmo after 26 days but that decision couldn't have been more wrong. He caught a new infection and went back on ecmo for another 3 weeks. When he woke up after 3 months, he couldn't speak because of tracheostomy, he couldn't move because of all the drugs given and used to paralyse him. I am speaking the beginning of May.

Right now he is rehabilitation and will be until at least October. His voice just recently returned, and he's working to get back his muscles and stability.

Further more he will make a full recovery.

I never expected he would but then again, I wouldn't accept he wouldn't either. I fought for him, crying everyday, taking tranquilizers, dealing with a family, my family whom were already calling me to arrange how to divide his money and belongings. I will never look at them nor the world the same way. I think I only want to tell you: don't give up, don't ever let doctors pushy into a decision that feels wrong. You know your sister best. Keep her best interest at heart and fight for her while she doesn't have a voice.

Take care of yourself as well because you will have to be strong and fit for when she wakes up.



You couldn't have said that any better.

Thank you!!

Thank you

Hello Deborah,

I was reading the messages and I was wondering how your dad was doing. Your dads illness is so similar to my sisters. Even though I lost my sister I hope your dad recovered and is doing well. Take care

Time is really all you have and I've learned that everyone heals differently. I'm in the same situation right now except my spouse is right here. Although you may not like seeing her in that way it's important that she knows that you are there when you do have the chance. Even though you aren't with her physically pray for her it works. My husband has been in the hospital over 2 weeks and everything seemed to be going wrong every procedure seemed to me like one experiment after another. Ecmo really helps his lung improved and his body got the much needed oxygen it needed. Everyone has been praying for him and the medical team yesterday he made a huge improvement he opened his eyes and was able to communicate. He's nowhere near healed but it's something. As long as the medical team are doing their job to get your sister better and you continue to support her emotionally it's just a matter of faith and time. The ventilator won't be able to stay in for long so she may need a trach which a lot of people feel is better because of the comfort.

Praying for you and you family much love and empathy

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻Thank you🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 I do pray a lot and believe in miracles.

It can be months the healing process takes time there isn't a definite time frame


She has been on ECMO for about 2 weeks and I believe the doctors are planning to wean her off soon. My sister is only 57 years old and she is a non smoker or drinker so I am still confused on how she got so sick.

thank you !!!

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