Betsy Speicher

Stephen's Health

278 posts in this topic

This put a big smile on my face as well and certainly lifted my spirits this evening. It's the best news I've had all day; I can only imagine what a relief it is for you to know that he'll now be getting the best care available.

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UPDATE:

They have a bed for Stephen at UCLA! When we got the news, his cardiologist and I were grinning a mile wide.

...

Stephen will be transported at 11PM tonight. I am trying to have realistic expectations and not get my hopes up too much, but now that he's going to UCLA, that isn't easy.

Betsy, this is great news. Stephen has earned and deserves the best possible care. It's a great hospital with great doctors and staff and it bodes well for his recovery.

Thank you for the encouraging update. Keep taking good care of yourself, as well.

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Thanks for the updates Betsy as they are much appreciated. I again send my best regards to you and Stephen with hopes for a great recovery.

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I havent' been able to keep up with THE FORUM for the last few weeks, and just now saw this news. I'm glad things seem to be going well, and offer all my best wishes for Stephen's recovery and improved health.

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I haven't had a computer for the past couple of weeks, and just found out about Stephen. I hope the move went well, and that he's quickly continuing to improve.

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UPDATE:

The day before Stephen was taken to UCLA, he was showing signs of a serious infection. Such infections are common in people who are immobile for many days and attached to life-supporting equipment. Although he was being treated aggressively with antibiotics, his temperature was 104.2 when he arrived at UCLA. Also the aortic balloon pump was not keeping his blood pressure up to the level they wanted.

Yesterday afternoon, they replaced all the lines and catheters and put in a new balloon pump. In a few hours, his temperature was down to 100.6 and his blood pressure was a little higher.

This morning his temperature is 101.1 but his blood pressure is much better.

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Betsy, it looks like Stephen got to UCLA just in time. I certainly hope that his condition will steadily improve from this point on. Thank you for the update.

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Betsy,

I'm glad they caught the infection and are working aggressively on resolving it. The lower-but-still-elevated temp is not surprising even without the bacterial infection -- he's had major surgery. UCLA Med Ctr is the right place for him to be right now. Thank you for the update.

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Betsy,

I wish I could do more than offer empathy and moral support. If I can help you in some other way, please let me know. I hate being unable to do anything about Stephen's condition. "Wait and see" simply sucks.

Best wishes,

Ed

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He has certainly been through it. I sounds like he didn't get to UCLA a moment too soon. I echo Ed's frustration, but I know that everything is being done that can be done.

My thoughts are with both of you, Betsy. When Stephen is better, please convey my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Add me to the list, anyway. :)

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UPDATE:

...

Betsy, we can't thank you enough for taking the time, in your trying times, to update us about Stephen's health.

I am sure his love of life and you, is helping him to recover from this massive attack on his health.

-Pooja

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UPDATE:

They are still keeping Stephen totally sedated. His blood pressure is a little better. His tempertature went up to 101.8 but is currently 101.1, so infection is still an issue. Other than that, there has been no change.

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I never knew that one could form such an attachment through the internet, but I've realized just how deeply my respect and affection for both Betsy and Stephen has grown in the last few years--all through our relationship on the internet. I find I miss them both very much indeed.

Betsy, I'm out of words to convey my best wishes. I'm glad Stephen is a fighter; the will to live is powerful medicine and he needs all of it now. I wish like hell there was something I could do. I'm with you in spirit, for what that's worth.

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Hang in there Betsy. I'm hoping Stephen gets well soon!

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I'm also sorry to hear this. You have my very best wishes for a speedy recovery, and I hope there will be no lasting effects from the heart-attack!

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Betsy, thank you for the continuing updates. I'm glad that Stephen's blood pressure is going down; that is something to the good.

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I'm also sorry to hear this. You have my very best wishes for a speedy recovery, and I hope there will be no lasting effects from the heart-attack!

Same here. Hadn't been aware of the situation before because I don't usually scroll down past the main topics. Stephen has treated me as a member of the forum family, so to speak, even though I'm a newbie. I appreciate that. My heart goes out to him and Betty.

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UPDATE:

Stephen is still totally sedated. His blood pressure is holding steady and his temperature is currently down slightly to 100.6. The doctors think he has the right antibiotics and hope to have the infection under control in a few days.

Once the infection is under control, they would like to give Stephen a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD). This will take over the function of his damaged heart and keep the rest of his body healthy.

It looks like his best option now is a heart transplant and he will qualify for the list as soon as he is on the VAD which can hold him until a heart is available. UCLA does more transplants than any other hospital and their survival rate is the highest. Many of their patients have lived 15 or more years with their new hearts. It also results in a good quality of life. Recently a UCLA heart transplant patient ran -- and completed -- the LA Marathon.

For the transplant operation, Stephen will need fresh, compatible, blood. If you, or someone you know, is either type B- or O-, healthy, and can come to UCLA to donate, that would be great.

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