In June 2007, she went to Grand Rapids, about 5 hours from her home, to have what was supposed to be a routine surgery to repair an abdominal incisional hernia. There were complications and she ended up with a perforated bowel, a massive infection and went into septic shock. She spent three months in the hospital, the first month in intensive care, and several more months recovering at home. She had months of physical and occupational therapy and was on antibiotics for 9 months. While hospitalized, she developed heart problems, blood clots in her lungs and legs, and kidney problems. She had multiple surgeries to clean out the infection in her abdominal cavity and finally, a skin graft close what started out as a dinner plate sized hole in her stomach.
Less than 50% of people with her condition survive ICU. She not only survived ... she recovered, and is thriving. She is a woman of great faith, with lots of friends, and she credits her recovery to the power of prayer. There is lots more to the story, but suffice it to say, we're very lucky to still have her with us, and I'm thankful for that every day.
On Monday, I'll be going with Sis to the University of Michigan Hospitals where a team of plastic and abdominal surgeons will try to reconstruct her abdominal wall and close the very large abdominal hernia that remains on Tuesday. She's been told that her case is one of the more difficult ones they have seen, and the surgery is complicated, with no guarantee of success. She's done an enormous amount of research, and has gotten opinions from surgeons at U of M, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and the Cleveland Clinic, and the surgeons at U of M are probably one of 4 or 5 places in the country that could do the surgery she needs. It's something that has to be done, but deciding when to do it was up to her, and she chose now.
I'll be with her in Ann Arbor for a few days, and if things go well, I'll be home late in the week. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.