Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Update: Mom's Road to Recovery

Since March 2 life has been crazy.  As many of you know, my mom was in a serious car accident involving a semi losing its load of steel beams in front of her.  She was very lucky that her life was spared, and that she didn't have life threatening injuries.  I was so relieved when I got the news that it was "just her leg and foot" that was injured.  No big deal, right?  I couldn't have been more wrong.

The past 9 weeks have basically been a living hell for her.  Several hospital stays later, she spent a combined total of 34 in Wesley Medical Center and Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, KS.  Eight surgeries later, the bones are fixed in her right heel, foot, and ankle, and the heel on her left foot has healed.  However, lately it feels that if we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all.  Bigger problems produced themselves in the form of fracture blisters on her right foot.  These blisters showed up immediately, delayed one surgery, and have worsened over time.  After her fourth surgery, they ended up having to remove some of the dead tissue, leaving a hole in the side of her foot down to the bone.  They put a wound vac on it to keep infection down, and sent her home in the care of home health.  With each subsequent surgery, the dead tissue has spread, and the hole has become significantly larger, covering the entire side of her left foot, and stretching to her ankle.  At this point, they called in a plastic surgeon to do a muscle and skin graft.

Muscle was removed from her abdominal area, and skin from her thigh to try to cover the hole left by the dead tissue.  The night of the graft, she was rushed back into emergency surgery because there was little to no blood flow to her foot.  They implanted a sensor to alert them to low blood flow in the foot, and after flushing the veins and arteries to make sure there were no blockages, they have not had the same problem since.  However, through all of this we discovered that there are 3 major blood vessels that feed blood to your foot, and mom only has one functioning that was damaged in the wreck.  So needless to say, the muscle graft and skin graft rejecting, resulting in another surgery to remove the work they had done.

After the failed graft, the surgeons in Wichita sent her home, saying they didn't feel there was anything else they could do to help her.  They told her that they want her to have the best possible chance at keeping her leg, so they set her up with a referral to KU Medical Center in Kansas City.  Her consultation is today at 1:30.

So this is where we are.  Eight surgeries and several hospital stays later, the bones are fixed, but other problems have made it unsure as to whether or not she will be able to keep her leg.  The possibility is there that she may not.  However, my mom is a fighter, and she is not emotionally ready to give up.  So she has our full support, and instead of Wichita, we will now be hitting the road to KC.

They didn't know this would be their last goodbye
But that's just the physical part.  For me, the anger has set in.  Her life is altered forever.  The things that this wreck, her immobility, and her time holed up in the hospital have taken from her are some things that can never been replaced.  She missed Easter with her grandkids (which is a very big deal to her).  She has missed all the activities she used to do when babysitting Breckyn.  She has missed weddings, and birthday parties.  But more importantly, she never got to say goodbye to my grandma.  She was coming home from caring for her when the wreck happened.   My sister got her up there once to see her, but when Grandma went downhill fast, Mom couldn't get to Topeka.  And no one can give that back to her.  Someone else's negligence robbed her of that.

We are, however, overwhelmed with the love and support we have received from family and friends.  People stopping by to check in, family members coming to stay to help out, cards, flowers, and prayers.  She has seen how many people care about her and it is very heart warming.  People keep asking if there is anything they can do to help.  My answer is this:  Most importantly right now, she needs the good thoughts and prayers.  We're hoping to get some good answers from KU, that they can help her.  Right now, she refuses to look at any other option.  So keep the prayers coming, for her, for the doctors, and for her spirits.  She is strong, the strongest person I know, but there is only so much a person can take.  Just pray that this time around it is good news she is taking in!!

2 comments:

  1. Your mom and your family are in my prayers several times during the day. Praying for healing, for Dr's wisdom, for peace and comfort!

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  2. Your family's fighting spirit is totally inspiring. I'm hoping that everything is doing well after the accident. By the way, how's your mom now? I hope that she's faring much better. Thanks for sharing that, Cora! All the best!

    Clifford Wheeler @ Powell Spencer & Partners

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