It was in the spring of 2015 that the doctors determined I needed a partial knee replacement after a couple failed knee scopes. On May 26th, 2015 I went to the hospital early that morning not knowing getting on the elevator would be my last memory for a while. My wife told me that after surgery I walked the hallway, ate a hamburger, texted my brother among other things. The doctor told me and my wife the only way I would live is to be put on a ventilator. Even though I don’t remember my wife said I looked at her and said “Sis (wife) what should I do?” I was told I signed the form with my wife not knowing that I would never remember what I had done. I was put on a ventilator and rushed from Good Sam Hospital to the University of Kentucky Hospital. The doctors believed I had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia that caused my lungs to bleed and from there I went septic. I went into septic shock where it started shutting down my organs including kidneys and lungs. My right lung collapsed and needed a chest tube and introduced me to ARDS. Due to bleeding lungs the doctors inserted a IVC filter to prevent blood clots going to my heart and lungs. The doctors determined that a tracheostomy would be needed and probably was a turning point for my recovery. When I started waking up some 20 days later, I had lost all muscle mass and could not move or talk. I stayed in ICU until June 30, 2015 with so many memories that I never want to forget good and bad.
After becoming stable enough, I was transferred to 2 other rehabilitation hospitals for trach removal and overall strength. Years later I still have lingering problems from this traumatic experience such as PTSD, Anxiety, Muscle Weakness, Neuropathy, and mental issues. I also have a scarred lung from the ARDS along with other issues in breathing. I couldn’t have made this journey without my family and especially my wife along with the doctors (especially Dr. Ashley Montgomery) and staff at the University of Kentucky.
EZ Caregiver was designed to help with communication between the patient, caregiver, nurse, or doctor when the patient was not able to speak. However I didn’t expect what was about to happen over the next several years. Through my journey since the summer of 2015 I have gone on to receive several awards and give inspirational speeches all over the country. I wouldn’t trade my journey since 2015 for anything as I have been blessed and made so many new friends along the way. Only God had this journey already planned for me since birth.
I don’t have all the answers as each ones journey is different. Embrace your journey and encourage others along the way and you will impact others.