Can my nanny pull through this, can she hear me?

Last Monday my nanny went into hospital for key hole surgery. She had an ateotic aneurism in her groin. What should have been 3-4 hours surgery turned into 9 hours because there were complications. Her arteries started breaking and she was bleading out. Now she has untold stents in her arteries including one in her kidney. That was Monday. It's now Saturday. She's been in an induced coma since, wires coming out of everywhere and she's on dialysis. There's a 90% chance when she wakes up she will be paralysed. This was supposed to be in and out surgery. Why is my 77 year old nanny fighting for her life? All I can do is sit there beside her bed in ICU, hold her hand and let her know I'm here. There's talk about if she shows no improvement over the weekend they basically giving up. But she's not deteriorating, she's just staying the same so I don't want them to give up, she just needs time! My heart is aching and I just want to talk to those who have been through similar, offer me any comfort/advise xx

11 Replies

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  • Hi

    I am so sorry to hear this news.

    I have two family members in non induced comas at the present. The first is my 5 year old son Zac, who is still in a coma 3 months, a week and 2 days today, on a childrens ward, after a freak accident at a swimming pool. The second is my 32 year old brother Eric, who is still in a coma a week today, in intensive care, after being knocked down.

    I have also, just like you, asked myself when my son was and now my brother is in intensive care "Why is my 5 year old son and now 32 year old brother fighting for life?"

    All the advise I can give you is hold your nan's hand and keep talking to her, if you can't think of anything to say to her, just hold her hand and stroke/rub it because from my experiences both my family members still in comas have shown signs, through the heart montior, montioring them, that they might heard me and have known I have been there as well.

    Hope I have helped you and you and your nan are in my prayers and thoughts always.

    Andy

    P.S. Doctors have also told me that when my son wakes up it will be 50/50% chance he will be brain damaged from his brain injuries and also that when my brother wakes up it will be 80% chance he will be brain damaged and paralyzed from his brain and spinal injuries as well.

  • My goodness. What a terrible terrible time for you! I guess we just have to be extra strong for them. That's all we can do! I have sat with my nan for 7 hours today holding her hand and stroking her head. It's such an up and down experience playing with my emotions. One minute they're taking off the sedation and her lactate levels are going down which is brill, but now she has blisters and sores which are weaping. the machines were nice and quiet pretty much most of the day and she is breathing along with the machine. Just fingers crossed it's all the same tomorrow, if not better! Thank you for your reply, it's good to talk to someone who is not family and who is going through something similar. Prayers and love to you and your family and my nanny x

  • Hi Georgia,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your Nanny's situation.

    It sounds to me like it's way too early to be giving up. ICU teams tend to very negative very quickly and they can paint a "doom and gloom" without you and your family really understanding what's going on.

    Here is a link to an article/video that will explain if your nanny can hear you in the induced coma

    intensivecarehotline.com/qu...

    Also, if the ICU team and the doctors are talking about "giving up" if your Nanny is not improving, it could mean that you and your family are ill prepared to challenge their positioning.

    If you want to have the best treatment and care for your Nanny you might have to look into doing more of your own research.

    Time is often the ultimate healer in Intensive Care and many ICU's are not prepared to put in the emotional and financial resources towards best care and treatment, especially when a person is considered elderly.

    Your positioning and also the research you are prepared to do often makes all the difference.

    Check out this article/video here for more information

    THE 5 QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK WHEN THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS TALKING ABOUT “FUTILITY OF TREATMENT”, “WITHDRAWAL OF LIFE SUPPORT” OR ABOUT “WITHDRAWAL OF TREATMENT”!

    intensivecarehotline.com/bl...

    Wishing you and your family all the best!

  • Thank you very much for all of this information. I will surely be having a read and getting more clued up. Was a little bit upset this morning as I went in there and she had blood/saliva down her face which I wiped off, she needed suction in her mouth so they done that when I asked, and because she's being pumped with so much fluid she's 'oozing' (the term the nurse used) so I was holding her hand and felt liquid, there was liquid coming out of a tiny pin prick hole, I asked them to patch that up. When I wiped her mouth I could have sworn she moved her mouth however it could have just been the breathing tube. Didn't sleep at all again last night, I need to rest so I can be here for her. I've had to come out for a minute and gather my thoughts and have some water. Thank you again x

  • Also, your Nanny's kidneys are probably failing because of the aortic aneurysm

    Check out this article/video here for more information/explanation

    intensivecarehotline.com/qu...

    With Lactate up and down it's probably that she has a severe infection and with the antibiotics and the Dialysis it'll hopefully stay down.

    If she's "oozing" she's probably fluid overloaded and she may also have a low Albumin.

    They may not be able to be too aggressive to remove fluids with the Dialysis machine because your Nanny might still be too unstable.

    Keep in mind your Nanny has only been in ICU for 6 days, it's very early days.

    Warm Regards

  • Thank you. Is it true that if her bowel dies there's nothing they can do? She has necrosis and has rejected the tube feed. Yesterday seemed so positive, today is awful.

  • If she has necrosis in her bowels that's why her Lactate is going up. A surgical bowel resection may help but she may be too unstable. I would need more information, I.e. is she on Inotropes

    intensivecarehotline.com/yo...

    There can be many ups and downs though. Why does she have the necrosis?

  • Also, your Nanny's kidneys are probably failing because of the aortic aneurysm

    Check out this article/video here for more information/explanation

    intensivecarehotline.com/qu...

    With Lactate up and down it's probably that she has a severe infection and with the antibiotics and the Dialysis it'll hopefully stay down.

    If she's "oozing" she's probably fluid overloaded and she may also have a low Albumin.

    They may not be able to be too aggressive to remove fluids with the Dialysis machine because your Nanny might still be too unstable.

    Keep in mind your Nanny has only been in ICU for 6 days, it's very early days.

    Warm Regards

  • Hi

    Something I forgot to mention in my reply yesterday was is what you are already doing, which is stroking their forehead. Also I have been stroking/brushing their hair and taking in their favourite music/sounds on either a moblie/MP3 player.

    Still thinking of you and your nan in my prayers and thoughts always.

    Andy

  • Thank you Andy. We've been playing her frank Sinatra, it's her favourite. I forever hold her hand, I put her hand on my face just now too. Just want her to wake up so I can hear her voice and see her little eyes.

    Georgia

  • Hi Georgia

    I also just want my youngest son Zac and youngest brother Eric to wake up to, so I can see their beautiful dark brown eyes ( same as mine) and hear their voices again.

    Still thinking of you and your nan in my prayers and thoughts always.

    Andy

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