Sunday, Jan. 28th, 1996(Mimi) 13:30 PST
I'm sad to report that Susan has taken a turn for the worse.
After not hearing anything from Andreas in almost 2 days, I called him. He and Susan's sister are waiting for Susan to come out of surgery (again).
It's unclear what went wrong, but apparently her right heart failed. They are now pumping her blood by machine.
There really isn't much else to report. She's been in surgery a couple of hours now; Andreas promised to call again in about 2 more hours.
I sure hate to ask this, but if you could pray double time for her, it would help...how about every time a Budweiser commercial airs during Super Bowl, you put in a word for her.
The doctors aren't giving up on her...we can't either.
They operated on Susan twice today. Basically, she's bleeding from everywhere in her chest and because of the medications she must receive, there's no way to stop it. She's now receiving 15 units of blood every 2 hours. (To put that in perspective, your body only contains 7 units.)
Her heart is beating, but not pumping blood, so that is being done by machine. One lung was shut down prior to the transplant due to the radiation therapy she had 20 years ago; the other lung is not functioning now, so her breathing is being done by machine.
She's on complete life support, including 24-hour dialysis. The doctors say that they hope the assistance will allow the heart to rest so that it can resume normal activity.
Tomorrow they will reduce her sedative and wake her up long enough to measure brain activity. If there is sufficient activity, she can be kept alive another week or two in the hope that she will recover. In any case, a decision will be made tomorrow about how to proceed.
Susan's family is at the hospital; Andreas's family is on their way.
Further updates will be posted as information is made available.
(Andreas) 23:20 PST
I'm very sorry to say that Susan is doing very poorly. Yesterday, Saturday, she held my hand and looked at me. I expected that today she'd be able to get the tubes out of her throat. She had been progressing very well the last four days.
This morning, her heart collapsed because of the high pressures in her lung. She began massive internal bleeding. She was rescuisitated several times. Her chest was reopened, to relieve the pressure and to remove blood. She has been given continuous transfusions all day. The blood comes in and goes out.
At 3 PM, her chest was opened yet again. It was a pool of blood. They're looking for places to seal to stop the bleeding. She's developed an infection in her lung. Her kidneys have failed completely. Her body is retaining blood to her torso; her feet and hands have no pulse and are cold and blue.
Tonight, at 10PM, she'll be reopened again. Her whole family is here; my parents are coming tomorrow; Bill and Kelly flew down from Seattle.
Susan's sedation has been stopped. After 12 hours (to clear the sedation from her system), she'll be tested for neurological response. An EEG test will determine her brain activity. If there is any response, her doctors will maintain her on support until the heart has a chance to recover. She's too weak for another transplant. If there is brain damage, well...
Susan and I talked about this several times in the past year. She doesn't want to live with brain damage.
I've held her hand and talked to her and caressed her face and kissed her. The poor girl. I'm so scared. I love her very much. Please pray for her.
-- yrs, andreas