|In the waiting room for hours, I entertained myself by
taking photos of whatever was nearby
In the next sentence you’ll read the name of a website,
memorize the name and pray you never need it.
It was a typical mid-April Saturday until the phone call. After I hung up the phone, I called my husband who was at a meeting, told him leave and to meet me at the hospital. Our brother-in-law Harry was in the ER and would be having emergency surgery for a blood clot.
Before the surgery the vascular surgeon explained the procedure. It would take an hour or so, three hours at the most. He was the highly acclaimed head vascular surgeon of the hospital, so we knew Harry was in good care.
Three hours went by.
Our prayers increased.
Six hours passed.
Nurses went off duty and wished us good luck.
We were the only ones left in the waiting room.
Seven and a half.
Harry went into surgery at 2:00 PM, now it was 9:30 PM.
Eight hours later the doctor met us in the waiting room.
He looked totally worn out and said, “That was a war.”
The good news, Harry was still alive.
The bad news was it was a popyteal aneurysm, essentially a sack of blood clots above the knee. When the sack burst blood clots rained down like gravel into every possible vein and artery in Harry’s leg.
The surgical team did everything possible to save Harry’s leg, but Dr. Martin doubted the leg would survive.
The following month was a roller coaster. Saving Harry’s life became the priority over saving the leg as infection and other issues came into play. After a few weeks of that, it was up and down, day by day changes challenges and another surgery for a skin graft.
After a month in the hospital, Harry is now home! He is still healing and will have more surgery ahead to remove his dead toes and part (or all) of his foot, but not his leg. His leg has survived!! (Thank you God and thank you Dr. Martin!) Harry’s attitude is stellar and he’s ready to get on with life.
Throughout this ordeal we used the Caring Bridge website to keep family and friends updated on Harry’s status. http://www.caringbridge.org/
This amazing site allowed us to have a personal “page” about Harry. I was able to let people know what happened and post daily journal updates. Whenever I posted an update, interested folks received an email telling them to check the website. However, the website allows for privacy, you control who can see the information about your loved one.
When he was finally up to it, we posted photos of Harry smiling in his hospital bed, a tremendous reassurance to his siblings scattered across the country.
The site also allowed people to send messages via his guestbook. These messages were posted on Harry’s page, I printed them out or read them to him directly from my smart phone. Friends and family sent loving words, prayers, encouragement and entertaining stories to help Harry get through another day.
This wonderful website is available free of charge. It operates on donations. It has been an invaluable tool, freeing us (especially Harry’s wife) from making and receiving phone calls when we were past the point of tired.
If you know of someone going through a health crisis, please tell them about Caring Bridge.
Better yet, offer to set it up for them. It’s easy and it’s worth it.
Thank you Caring Bridge!!!