Personal Stories: JoAnn Delmotte's Husband
This is still very hard for me to even think about and yet my mind
never seems to let go of what happened to my husband. On May 23, 2001
I came home from work about 10pm and my husband Joe was up and said he
did not feel well, to look at him and hear him I said good thing you
have tomorrow off so you can go to the doctor's, you sound like you
have bronchitis real bad.
I stayed up with him until 11:30 and said "I have to be to work by
6am I need to go to bed". I kissed him good night and asked if he was
coming "he said in a bit". At midnight Joe woke me up and said
something is really wrong take me to the hospital. When I turned on
the light it looked like he was standing in the shower, that is how
much he was sweating & he was so pale I could not believe it. We got
him to the hospital, they treated him for a heart attack.
After several hours they called in a cardiac specialist because
nothing was helping Joe. They had given him oxygen saturation at
100%,on 2 liters, GI cocktails and morphine, nitroglycerine with no
significant improvement. The heart specialist told us he was sending
Joe to another Hospital, he was in over his head, not sure what was
happening. When we got to the other hospital they did a cardiac
catheterization, they found a type 1 aortic dissection with 1+ aortic
needed emergency surgery).
They repaired and did a re-suspension of
aortic valve and repair of right common femoral cannulation sight.
During the surgery Joe lost 14 pints of blood and had a total circ
arrest time of 21 minutes. These are all doctor's terms. I can tell you,
they came to me with a minister and said Joe would die without this
surgery and that if I signed the paper work for the surgery he still
only had a 10% chance of making it out alive, and if he did come through
surgery he would suffer a stroke or brain damage.
Joe had a stroke on
the table. But he was & is Alive...He is OUR MIRACLE!!!! The doctor's
had told me at the 21 minutes of circ arrest if they had to do a heart
valve replacement they would just close him up, because you can only
have 45 minutes of circ arrest and that replacement added another 2
hours on. During the surgery Joe's femoral veins on his legs also
collapsed, (they were so week) so a doctor worked on that end too (they
were trying to get a graft from his leg veins and that went wrong also)
Joe went to the intensive care unit in critical condition and was there
for 3 weeks, he was on tube feedings and a ventilator, a staff infection
They had not expected Joe to make it through the night. But he did..after
he started to improve they moved him out of ICU, and started all kinds
of therapies. The doctor's said while Joe was in the hospital they
found out he had sleep apnea (450-500 episodes a night) this is where
you quit breathing at night and when your body starts back up your
blood pressure shoots so high, but can be normal during the day.) Joe
did not show the signs of someone with sleep apnea-tired and needing
naps all the time.
The doctor's said all them years of so many episodes at night made
his veins weak so they gave out. He is now on a c-pap machine at night
and meds. for blood pressure + beta blockers). It has been a very,
very long road for Joe, Myself and Our Children. But we live one day
at a time and Thank GOD for OUR MIRACLE. There are questions we would
like to ask but are not sure we want the answers, so we leave them
unsaid and enjoy each other every single day..
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