The strongest woman I know, my wife Ally, has gone from being on ECMO, in a coma to breathing on her own and out of ICU in 21 days. WOW!!!

Hi Everyone,

A summary of how we got here. Feb. 26, Ally was battling pneumonia, as she does 2 - 4 times each year. Usually, a prednisone prescription will work in 3 - 5 days.

Not this time. Nothing the doctors tried would get rid of the pneumonia. The last thing left to try was ECMO, with a 30% to 50% chance of working. Ally was put into an induced coma, 16 days, and onto the ECMO machine. Ally was left on ECMO for 11 days to give her lungs time to fight the infection and heal. It was finally discovered that the MRSA bacterium was in the lungs with the pneumonia. MRSA is resistant to most of the commonly used antibiotics. This is why nothing the doctors did would get rid of nthe pneumonoia.

Ever since they found the right antibiotic to combat the MRSA, Ally's lungs have been able to heal. They brought her out of her coma on March 14. They removed one of the sedation meds and reduced the other 2. Thinking it would take anywhere from 2 - 6 days to wake her. They were wrong. She opened her eyes the next morning. It was so amazing to see those beautiful eyes again.

It took the next two weeks for Ally's body to get rid of the sedation meds stored up in the body.

They put a trach tube in for the ventilator. Now that her mouth was clear of tubes we were able to kiss again. Also, now our children were more comfortable in visiting. Seeing the kids gave Ally some renewed strengh. Ally has been off ventilator for 4 - 5 days now.

Yesterday she moved out of ICU to the High Acuity Unit. A move in the right direction. Her memory is improving so i am starting to fill her in on what she has gone thru. I kept a diary for here like so many of you suggested.

Sorry, but i will have to finish this post later tonight. We are headingoff to see Ally.

The long and the short of it is i want Ally to talk top all of you. I think it will help her a ton. I am going to try and get her to make a posting and talk to you guys. However she might not want to.She does like to read the posts. If it is not too much to ask, could some of you reach out to her? You can all relate to what she has gone thru much better than I.

This site saved me and i am sure it can have the same if not a better effect on Ally.

Thank you guys

Sincerly,

Marc and Ally

6 Replies

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  • Marc so pleased Ally is on the mend. I have personal experience of ICU for Sepsis, pneumonia and blood clots. I'm here if Ally would like to contact me. I know it would have helped me if I had known about this site earlier. Healing thoughts to Ally and to you and the children x

  • Thank you LesAnne .Also, congratulations on being an incredibly strong person and concurring all of the ailments that fell on you. I will let Ally know that you are there if she would like to talk. If you do not mind I will probably asking questions also. The more knowledge I can collect from all of you amazingly strong people the more I can help and empathize with Ally through this long, tough journey.

    My first question: Is there anything that the supporting spouse and family can do to help eleviate the guilt that Ally is starting to feel? She feels guilty for putting us thru this. I tell her there is no reason feel guilty, but of course that doesn't really help.

    Thanks again LesAnne and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Marc

  • Hi Marc as far as the guilt is concerned I think you just need to keep reiterating that Ally has nothing to feel guilty about and that your wedding vows were in sickness and health! Its a common feeling among ICU survivors.

    In the ICU Steps booklet it recommends keeping a diary of events so that you can answer the patients myriad of questions. My family were not told to do this and unfortunately did not get the ICU Steps booklet until I was on the road to recovery. If you have not done so already perhaps you could make notes while you still remember events.

    I am a year down the line and still in recovery so be prepared for her possibly making slow progress at times. I still become frustrated but when I look back I know I have made enormous progress.

    Healing thoughts to all x

  • Thanks for that LesAnne. I am constantly telling her that there is nothing to feel guilty about. I will say to her "you didn't choose to get sick, did you?" No she didn't. Therefore no reason to feel guilty.

    Thank you again and I really do hope that Ally chooses to chat with you. I know it would help her. I would hope that it would benefit you also.

    Talk soon,

  • Glad to hear Ally is doing so well. I was in an induced coma for ten days and on ventilator for four weeks. The mouth tube was replaced with a trachy on day 14. My lungs were full of mucus and I remember well the uncomfortable procedure of drawing this off while I coughed as deeply as possible. This entire period I couldn't distinguish the actual world from the strange dream world I was living in. After a couple of weeks I would wake and communicate with nurses and family, but I'm sure I was incoherent some of the time! My final few days on the ventilator a speaking valve was fitted to the trachy so I could finally talk instead of communicating with hand gestures!

    I'm two years down the line now and have recovered well.

    I hope all goes well for you.

    Best wishes, Steve

  • Thank you for all the information Steve. It is all very helpful. Your time in the ICU sounds like it was exactly like Ally's.

    It is awesome that were so strong and you were able to survive this unbelievable challenge that was thrown at you.

    Sincerely,

    Marc

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