Sister in medically-induced coma - practicalities?

Hi, this past weekend my 26 year old sister presented stroke-like symptoms and was put into a medically induced coma. Despite doing every conceivable test there has been no diagnosis as yet and we don't know how for long she'll be in ICU. There have been attempts to bring her round but these have been pretty traumatic. Beyond the natural stress of the situation there are her twins, aged almost 2, to care for as she is a single parent. The family are covering this but taking time off work is only an emergency solution. We'll be asking the hospital but thought it worth asking wider here: does anyone know what help there is for this? Also, what do we do in paying her bills if she remains unable to give us any power of attorney type thing. We're unlikely to be able to cover them ourselves. Any other advice gratefully received. I'm guessing it's normal not to be able to think of everything...

Thanks,

Tom

3 Replies

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  • Im sorry to hear about your sister. Its completely normal not to think of everything.

    She is in the best place, I am a nurse in intensive care and I have arranged letters on letter headed paper written by doctors to explain the situation which can be sent to whoever needs to see it to prove she is in hospital. This should give you some leaway (so to speak) on her bills, maybe make a drastically reduced payment plan until she is discharged. Im not aware of any service available to help with the children, that will have to be something worked out between the family (you may be able to draw in her child benefit and tax credits if you send them the letter). i hope things improve for her and you all. They will be able to wake her, it will take time to get it right (drug and timing wise).

    take care of yourselves

  • Hi Tom,

    I'm very sorry to hear about your sister's and your family's situation.

    Your best bet is to get to speak to a social worker who might be able to help with assisting in paying bills, potential child care etc... They can be quite savvy in helping you there.

    Why did they put your sister in an induced coma in the first place?

    PS: I'm an ICU nurse

  • Thanks for your replies NCU123 and friz. Following up with the hospital and Social Services now.

    My sister was initially put in the coma due to her having a kind of seizure and losing the use of one side of her body, among other unexpected effects, probably linked to her Graves' Disease. I don't entirely understand it myself but there is now a diagnosis: Hashimoto's encephalopathy, which, while pretty rare by all accounts, is treatable. A relief and here's to hoping for a responsive treatment process.

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