Perforated bowel, sepsis and intestinal failure....


My husband is currently in ICU (on day 72) he had a perforated bowel, sepsis and intestinal failure. He was on life support for 14 days and ventilated a until a week ago. We were called in and had the priest read him his last rights. We were told twice after that he would not survive....but he has. He has lost the ability to move, other than after lots of physio he can now move his hands to his face. He is talking. I wondered if anyone had been through this, so we can have some idea in our heads about recovery. All we keep being told is he has a long long road ahead. He is fed via TPN and NG and doctors don't know if he will ever eat again. He needs another operation to reattach his stomach so he will have 160cm of small bowel. Will he ever gain weight? ( he is skin and bone) will he walk again? We are amazed and delighted he is still here. We have 2 young children and this has just been hell for all of us. We need some comfort and a light at the end of the tunnel. He is only 42. We were told he had colitis a few years back and had an emergency ilesotomy last October. Then in June he got sick with what we thought was sickness and diahorrea but things quickly got very nasty. We were then told it was chrones but now they say it's neither and they dont know what it is..he is a mystery. An amazing strong mystery . Please help get some clarity...

10 Replies

  • Hi, I cant really help much, but I too was in ICU, in a coma with complete organ failure, but only for a month though, however similar to yourself, my wife and children were told I possibly wouldn't make it and signed a DNR etc. upon waking from my coma I couldn't move and slowly over the next 2 months in Hospital gained the use of pretty well everything, although with some lasting weaknesses and problems, but I made it through. I hope my story will offer some hope, and I pray that your husband recovers fully & soon.

    All the best Phil

  • Thank you for your reply. I am so pleased you are making a recovery. Although it seems my husband's problems are rare (actually, surviving is rare), I have had some comfort from your reply. Thanjbyiu forbtaking time to read my post. Take care!

  • Hi

    So sorry to hear about your husband but I also

    spent a month in a coma in ICU in 2010 with scepticimia & Peritonitis due to a perforated bowel after a botched operation . My husband was also told I might not survive but despite everything I did although I then had to rebuild my strength as I couldn't do a thing for myself . When I came home I had to sleep downstairs as I couldn't get up the stairs but over a few months I managed to gain my strength ready for another operation to remove the ileostomy bag which I also had to learn to deal with , which went well fortunately . I am now fairly fit & healthy although I do have to have regular B12 injections & cannot eat food with lactose .

    I hope & pray things get better for your husband & family & you get the support that you need .

    Love to you all xx

  • Thank you so much for replying..i am so thankful you are better and can tell your story. Liam has no muscle at all and can't move. I just need to know he will walk again. I have no idea how he will build stregnth whikst on TPN. He will need another surgery when he is fitter to get rid o the jujenostomy. He will be left with a permanent ileostomy. We thank God or whoever is out there that he survived. I know it will be along road to recovery..what ever it takes me and our children are here. It has been so difficult for us all and I think we all need counselling to help with the trauma of it all. Keep on getting strstronger! You are amazing! Love to you xxx

  • Thank you for sharing your husband's story.

    It's encouraging to hear that he's alive and other people here have improved after such an ordeal.

    Is your husband still ventilated as well and does he have a tracheostomy?

  • Hi...he was on full life support...he was ventilated twice and had a trachi for about 2 months..just had it out 5 days ago which is great...

  • So sorry to hear of this very difficult time for you and your family. Two years ago I was also admitted to ICU with a perforated bowel, sepsis and multiple organ failure. My family were told to prepare for the worst as they estimated only a one percent chance of survival. I was in an induced coma for ten days and on a ventilator for four weeks. My time in critical care was about six weeks and I was totally bed-bound. I was told by a doctor that my survival was a miracle. After ICU I was given about five weeks of intensive physio in the hospital and was able to walk again at the end of it. Most of my colon was removed during surgery and I now live with an ileostomy. Pathology showed no disease or identifiable cause for the bowel rupture, but I did have about two weeks of continuous diahorrea prior to hospitalisation. Over the two years since my discharge I have regained my weight and strength, although I still have some issues with my balance. I was 61 when admitted to hospital, so I hope this will give you some confidence your husband will have the inner strength to make a recovery. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Wow! This is a very similar story to ours. It is very comforting to hear someone who has had pretty much the same issue...I wanted to hear from someone who has been there and come out the other side. Almost 3 months in ICU and Liam can now just lift his hands. I don't see how he will gain weight/stregnth as he is fed via TPN and NG. We were told liams survival is a miracle and they don't know how he survived. He was having 9 units of blood a day at one point as he was looking so much blood from his jujenostomy. We were told the second time to pray for a miracle because there was nothing more they could do. Amazingly, they whacked him full of heavy duty steroids.....and steadily the bleeding stopped. My mind is so confused with all the details over the past 3 months..i think it's some kind of coping mechanism. Your kind words give me strength. Thank you.

  • I spent 2 months in coma and another month in ICU awake. I went into septic shock & MOF & severe ARDS. Full life support for 7wks - then slowly, I was weened off each machine. Trachy for 5weeks - feeding tube etc etc. I ate for the first time in 75 days - I had lost so much weight & muscle tone that I was bed ridden. Learnt to walk, eat & drink - a year on I am nearly back to normal. The doctors told my wife on numerous occasions -I would not make it. I hope your husband continues to improve.

  • Thank you so much for your post. It really gives me so much hope hearing stories like this. We will just keep on supporting and loving him and hope that he gets stronger each and every day. The way he looks...literally skin and bone with no muscle, makes it very hard to visualise any kind of normality. He can't even lift his hands further than his nose ad it is too hard for him. I'm so pleased you are almost back to normal..

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