Betsy Speicher

Stephen's Health

278 posts in this topic

UPDATE:

Steve is still in the CCU and is getting better by the hour. His blood pressure and oxygen level are good and his heart is beginning to heal. They disconnected him from a heart assistance pump and they are weaning him off the ventilator.

He's still somewhat sedated and unable to communicate much beyond that he's glad to see me and that he HATES that #@%* ventilator.

I'll let you know when there is more news.

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His impatience is a good sign.

I came here first thing this morning to see if there was an update. Thank you so much for taking your time to keep us informed--I'm sure you're pressed for time right now and it means a lot that you do so.

Please let Stephen know he is greatly missed.

Make sure you take care of yourself, too, Betsy.

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Hey! That's great news! :)

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Stephen is one of those regrettably rare giants simultaneously in mind and character, as far as I'm concerned, and finding such in an Objectivist as well, not to mention an Objectivist who is also personally my friend, almost seems too good to be true. I know he'll be back to normal soon, continuing to set that very high bar for "normal".

Get well with all due speed, Steve. You deserve that without limit, and so does Betsy.

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Betsy,

Thank-you for the update. I think a little feistiness is a good thing, and I'm glad to hear Stephen, in exhibiting it, is doing so well.

Stay well!!

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Betsy, that is great news to hear. For you, hearing that #@%* must have been uplifting, as it is to me imagining it. Take care of yourself, too.

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Thanks for the update, Betsy! It sounds like Stephen is recovering well. The o2 levels are a good sign, and that he's getting strong enough to be weaned free of the support systems. Great news! Thanks!

Give Stephen my best. One of many that want him back here. :)

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I'm looking forward to Stephen's first post post-recovery. Best of wishes, while it is saddening that you two have to overcome such misfortune, I take consolation in my complete confidence in your ability to do so.

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Yes, thank you so much, Betsy, for sharing this good news. Please tell Stephen how much I look forward to him being back. How wonderful that he has you with him.

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I wish Stephen a speedy recovery; I'm glad to hear that he's doing well!

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I would like to join everyone here by making a public expression of sadness, in addition to my private messages of support to Stephen and Betsy. Life is already too short, without any premature loss of health. May the best of modern science keep this loss temporary.

Sincerely,

R

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Best wishes to Stephen and Betsy!

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UPDATE:

Stephen is improving very slowly, but we had a real scare yesterday when he went into renal (kidney) failure. The problem is that his heart attack was a bad one and his heart is weak and needs time to recover. Until then, he needs constant monitoring and support to keep everything else going.

His doctor looked into getting him into UCLA Hospital. As one of the finest teaching hospitals in the world, they have access to world-reknowned specialists and hardware and procedures unavailable at Los Robles Hospital including expensive state-of-the-art heart-assistance devices, artificial hearts, and heart transplants. Unfortunately, there was a month's waiting list and no beds available there.

Late yesterday afternoon Stephen's kidney function returned and I was practically dancing around the room. In addition, his vital signs were holding steady or improving. The doctor decided to re-install an even larger heart-assistance pump than the one he had before and that helped too.

Both his doctor and I continued to contact all the people we knew and pull all the strings we had to get Stephen into UCLA and in the early evening we were told they would accept him. As soon as a bed becomes available, which could be at any time, he will be helicoptered from Los Robles Hospital to UCLA hospital in minutes.

Stephen is improving to the point that his doctor thinks Los Robles can handle it, but he wants him at UCLA just in case he should ever need the special care that only they can provide.

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as a non-poster (but long time reader) I wish Mr. Speicher all the best in his recovery, and my best wishes to you, Mrs Speicher, as you await your husbands recovery.

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When there are ups and then downs in Stephen's recovery, we all get wrenched around. I actually think we're all praying -- in the secular, rational sense -- for Stephen's recovery with all due speed.

I know I am. I have come to realize something that I don't think I'd really noticed before: that "praying" in the above sense is very important in itself. When a large, irreplaceable value is at stake, to focus on it is to fervently wish that it be preserved -- at one and the same time as it's to be motivated to act to preserve it. But when we personally aren't in a position to act, but can only to wait on those who can, then we are left to the fervent hoping as the right and proper response to our own pure vulnerability. So, yes, I'm praying for Stephen, and I think we all are.

Get well, Steve!

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Did the doctors identify the cause of his geart attack? Is this something that is prevalent in his family?

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UPDATE:

Both his doctor and I continued to contact all the people we knew and pull all the strings we had to get Stephen into UCLA and in the early evening we were told they would accept him. As soon as a bed becomes available, which could be at any time, he will be helicoptered from Los Robles Hospital to UCLA hospital in minutes.

Stephen is improving to the point that his doctor thinks Los Robles can handle it, but he wants him at UCLA just in case he should ever need the special care that only they can provide.

Betsy, this is terrific. UCLA certainly has all those advantages you mention. I hope something opens up soon. Meanwhile, it sounds like he's getting good personal care at Los Robles. The temporary renal failure certainly is a scary thing, but, hopefully, it's all a steady climb to full recovery from now on.

Thanks again for the update. My concern and fervent wishes for the best possible outcome.

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Did the doctors identify the cause of his heart attack?

He had three blocked coronary arteries.

Is this something that is prevalent in his family?

Yes. His father died of a heart attack before he was forty.

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WOW. I just found out about this! Like many other posters, I don't know Stephen personally, but I was hoping to get that chance one day. I cannot say I am unafaid, but when you love life as much as he does...I can only imagine how hard he is fighting. I give you both my very best wishes.

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UPDATE:

Stephen is holding or improving on everything since they put in the pump last night. He is still heavily sedated, so I just sit with him and let him know how well he is doing.

There's no bed available at UCLA yet, but Stephen is at the top of the list and it looks like there will be a bed tomorrow or Friday. I spoke with Dr. Cristina Rizza, an Objectivist, cardiologist, and wife of Dr. Peter LePort (who's on the ARI Board of Directors) and she agrees with Stephen's doctor. UCLA is the best place there is.

I haven't been able to tell everyone on THE FORUM individually, but your well-wishes and encouragement have meant a lot to me. I also used your postings and e-mails to make the case to his doctor and some people I know at UCLA just how many of us love and respect Stephen and how important he is to us. I don't know if that got him into UCLA against all the odds, but it certainly didn't hurt.

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UPDATE:

Stephen is improving very slowly, but we had a real scare yesterday when he went into renal (kidney) failure. The problem is that his heart attack was a bad one and his heart is weak and needs time to recover. Until then, he needs constant monitoring and support to keep everything else going.

If anyone has the mental wherewithal to handle this crisis, it is Stephen. I hope the physical side can match this strength. May good fortune be with your family.

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UPDATE:

Stephen is holding or improving on everything since they put in the pump last night. He is still heavily sedated, so I just sit with him and let him know how well he is doing.

There's no bed available at UCLA yet, but Stephen is at the top of the list and it looks like there will be a bed tomorrow or Friday. I spoke with Dr. Cristina Rizza, an Objectivist, cardiologist, and wife of Dr. Peter LePort (who's on the ARI Board of Directors) and she agrees with Stephen's doctor. UCLA is the best place there is.

I haven't been able to tell everyone on THE FORUM individually, but your well-wishes and encouragement have meant a lot to me. I also used your postings and e-mails to make the case to his doctor and some people I know at UCLA just how many of us love and respect Stephen and how important he is to us. I don't know if that got him into UCLA against all the odds, but it certainly didn't hurt.

Betsy, the most precious possession Stephen has right now is you, the Angel by his side; and there is no doubt in my mind that you will literally part the seas to see that he gets the best medical care possible. I wish there was more that we could do, but if these posts are helpful then I wish that they multiply a hundredfold. As Dean M. Sandlin said in an earlier post, Stephen is an "irreplaceble value" in our lives.

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Betsy, I thank you again for taking the time to keep us informed. It means so much to me. I can only speak for myself when I say that I am not concerned you haven't responded to us individually. You are taking care of the most important business at hand and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm sure I'm not alone. You know that, though, no doubt. While I know that you are doing what you must for your own sake, your actions benefit me, and it is a comfort knowing that you are there. It is very frustrating to be so helpless when one has an important value in danger. (I agree, by the way, about fervent wishing. I've been doing a lot of that.) It sounds like you are doing everything possible to help Stephen; I expected nothing less. He is lucky to have you. While I have no doubt whatsoever in Stephen's strength of character, it is important to have help keeping up one's spirit and hope; suffering is very wearing on both mind and body.

Keep up the good work. And remember to rest. We can't have you getting worn out, too.

You are both in my thoughts constantly.

Janet

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