Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunny Sunday

Things are looking great! Tom is doing wonderful. The plan is for the plastic surgeon to remove Tom's wound vac tomorrow, make sure the graft "took", and then Tom will go home. That is the plan...Tom is very cautious about getting excited because he said he will be very bummed if he can't leave. So we are hoping but being realistic that things can always change. But, he is feeling well, can get up an out of bed and after a long, irritating day on Friday his pain is well controlled. We are so grateful to all of you who have visited, called, sent texts, sent cards, e-mails, prayers, etc. You truly helped Tom's recovery. Thank you all. I will continue to write and let you know how things continue to progress. All my best to all of you!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

post op

Tom came through his surgery great today! His surgery took longer than expected but the result was good. Dr. Le, the plastic surgeon was able to take skin from Tom's right thigh and graft it to the wound under Tom's right arm pit and down his right chest side. He was then able to close the part of the wound that stretched across Tom's back. (I am not exactly sure what he did to close the wound but he said it will result in less scarring in the long run.) Tom was feeling OK after surgery but his back really hurt. He is on a Dilaudid (pain med) PCA (pain controlled analgesia) so that he can give himself pain meds as he needs them. I brought the girls to see Tom this evening and he was very excited to see them. The girls actually behaved better than I would have ever expected. Hannah sat near Tom and read him two books we borrowed from the library. Tom and I are stunned by how far she has come in a year of kindergarten. It's so fun to see her and Caitlyn developing. The girls are very excited to go to CT tomorrow to visit their cousins for the weekend. I will be hanging around with Tom all weekend and getting ready for him to go home. Hopefully, early next week. It was a very long day so I am going to close but I will keep you posted on Tom's progress.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nip/tuck...plastic surgery for Tom

Tom and I just got back from his pre-op physical at his doctor's office.
The nurse practitioner who initially saw Tom on that horrible Wed a month and
a half ago, did his exam today. Needless to say he is looking much better now
than he was back then. She was happy to see his recovery was going so well.
They did some blood work and an EKG and he is all set for his skin graft surgery on Thurs.
Last week it was decided that Tom would stay at Fairlawn until his surgery since visiting nurses felt his wound was too extensive to be taken care of at home. Tom has been cleared by PT and OT and is an independent man again (well, is any man truly independent? ;-) On Sat the girls, my parents and I took Tom out to lunch and yesterday we headed to his sister's house to celebrate Mother's Day. I am positive that the best gift his mother got this year was having him there!

They are changing his wound dressing right now and his wound looks amazing !!!! Nice and healthy. (I mean it probably looks gross to most people but people with warped minds like me and the nurses here it looks great!) Yeah!!!

So, to give you the outlook of the future happenings...Skin graft surgery will be at some point on Thurs (We won't have a time until Wed afternoon). Surgery will be back at St. Vincent's and he will likely be there for five days post-op. Then if he is strong enough he will go home. If he is a little too weak, he may come back to Fairlawn for a few days. So hopefully, within two weeks he will be home and good to go! We will keep you posted!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

plastic surgery

I know everyone has been waiting for an update. Tom' s wound looks great and is healing well. The plastic surgeon said he would like to do the skin graft surgery this week or next...we are just waiting for the schedule. Hopefully, we will have the date set tomorrow. Once we know when the surgery will be, we will determine whether he will stay at Fairlawn til the surgery or go home for a little bit until the surgery. After the surgery, Tom will be in the hospital for 5 days and then may go back to rehab for a few days depending on how he is doing. The total healing time for the skin graft if everything goes as planned is about a month. Yipee! Please continue with the prayers and well wishes...he still needs them. Love to all. :-)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breaking Tom out

Tom made it through the week at Fairlawn. The physical therapist and occupational therapist have cleared Tom to go home. He can walk, eat, and do all his activities of daily living himself. He is staying at Fairlawn at least through Tuesday when we go see the plastic surgeon to see when he will have his skin graft surgery. They are keeping him at the rehab hospital just because his wound is so extensive and changing its dressing is really involved. Tom spirits remain good which is half the battle. He has had a lot of visitors in between his therapies and it makes his days fly by. Yesterday the ladies (Hannah and Caitlyn) and I took Tom "out on pass" for a few hours. We took him to Hannah's soccer game, followed by a trip to Dunkin Donuts for Coolattas. We also stopped at CVS to buy a beard trimmer since Tom is growing out his "playoff beard" since the Sharks are in the AHL playoffs. He looks rather handsome with it :-) I have been crazy since returning back to work so finding time to write has been tough. I will certainly keep you all updated on what the plastic surgeons have to say. Hope everyone is well.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Tom made the trek to Fairlawn Rehab Hospital on Friday evening and I made my journey back to work the same night. Tom was evaluated on Sat. by physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy (for eating purposes), and dietary (to provide optimal nutrition for healing). At this point they are thinking he will be at Fairlawn for a week to 10 days but maybe longer because he is going to go for his skin graft surgery in the near future. We have to call today to schedule appts with his general surgeon and his plastic surgeon for next week. Hopefully all will look good and the skin graft can be scheduled for early May. Tom had a busy weekend with lots of of the most exciting visits was with Trot, our Boston terrier who has been missing his "dad" something terrible. Tom was able to get outside and enjoy some sunshine with good friends which was uplifting after being stuck inside for 3 1/2 weeks. The girls were excited to visit daddy and see him without his "rubber hose up his nose". All in all it was a good weekend...things are definitely looking up!

Friday, April 23, 2010

See Ya St. V's...Thanks for all your help1

Tom passed his swallow study today!!! He is just waiting for the "official" orders so I can go get him something to eat and drink. They will remove his feeding tube from his nose and his PICC line from his arm and he is ready to bust out of St. V's. He will be taking an ambulance ride to Fairlawn Rehab Hospital in Worcester for intense PT/OT for the next month or 2. I will continue the blog but not as frequently since not too much will be changing in the near future. Tom will see his plastic surgeon the week after next to determine a time for doing a skin graft surgery in the near future. I will keep you posted as things progress. Again, I cannot thank you all enough for your love, support, concern, and prayers through this very difficult time. We are blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. God bless you all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

walking man

Tom was up and at 'em today. Physical therapy came and got him out of bed and he walked (with a walker) 3 times around the room, then hit sat up in a chair for about an hour. He then took a long and well deserved nap! His is anxious to lose what he has termed the "rubber hose up his nose". He is going to downgrade to a smaller NGT (nasogastric tube for feeds). Other than that no major changes, oh except he is ready to have visitors now! So, those of you anxious to see him, he is in room 2107 on the south side of the building. And, for those of you who needed the hospital address it is: St. Vincent's Hospital, Room 2107, 123 Summer St. Worcester MA. And finally, for those of you who wanted to post comments on the blog...I think you may need to join google...this whole "blog" thing new to me. Good Luck. Thanks.

catching up

I was a slacker yesterday...sorry to all of you who were looking for updates. I was taking a little time enjoying the fact I could talk and interact with Tom so the day kind of just flew by. Tom had a busy day yesterday. He went for a modified barium swallow to see if he could eat or drink but no such luck. I sat in on the test and could see (on x-ray) that anything they gave him got stuck in his throat. It took him over seven times to get a teaspoon of applesauce to go down. So, the plan is to repeat that on Friday so no food or drinks til then. Physical therapy came by to evaluate him and see where his deficits are at this point and they got him up to sit in a chair again. Tom was pretty tired so he didn't sit up long. Not sure why HE was so tired after sleeping for 2 1/2 weeks, especially since he was the one who called ME at 6:15 in the morning cause he was "bored" ;-) I would have liked the sleep but I have to say it was pretty remarkable that he was able to call me on his own even if it was at the crack of dawn. :) A case manager came by too to start thinking about discharge plans from the hospital and into short term rehab facility until he is stronger physically. All in all a good day yesterday. He is medically stable at this point. Yipee! So, we are just waiting on the next swallow study and then he may be able to break out of this joint by next week. There is still a long road ahead but hopefully the most difficult parts are behind us! Tom said he may be ready for visitors in the next day or so. I will let you know.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

movin on up

Tom has made his next big move... out of the ICU. He now has his own private suite on the medical floor (with a severe downgrade in the's about 7 inches. He is definitely going to be missing his plasma now). He is up out of bed again today and had his wound dressing changed. His wound continues to look great. Tom is itching to eat (hopefully tomorrow) but is very excited that he is allowed to swab his mouth as often as he would like with juice or water. He still has a few tubes to get rid of but he is losing medical equipment daily which is nice. He is sporting his new Red Sox hat from Pat today...looking like his usual handsome self. Good news all around. Will let you know the latest tomorrow.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

another saturday night

Tom had a great day...up out of bed, lots of family visits, a talk on the phone with the little Burke ladies last night. Huge improvement from last Sat's post. Tom is still unable to eat or drink but he is having a modified barium swallow on Monday in the hopes that that will change. He is allowed to swab his mouth from time to time but the nurses have warned that his water is not to be within arms reach of him because he gets a little to liberal with the frequency of using them. We are hoping for a move out of the ICU tomorrow or Monday morning. He is on the road to a great recovery! He was sleeping soundly when I left tonight which is another huge improvement because his sleep cycle has been all messed up. I am hoping he will have sweet dreams and sleep throughout a good part of the night. Talk to you later.

Friday, April 16, 2010

bigger steps

Tom continues to move in the right direction. He is on only a small amount (comparatively) of pain medicine. This am when I got here, the nurses already had him up in a chair! He had a swallow study this morning to see if he can eat or drink yet. They said a few more days. They are going to put him to work today...physical therapy is coming to get him moving. His chest x-ray has improved showing that his pneumonia is improving. They are hoping to move Tom to the floor and out of the ICU in the next few days. The nurses and doctors want to keep visiting to a minimum so that he can get some rest but please feel free to comment to the blog and I will read it to him. We are also awaiting a visit from the plastic surgeons to see what the next step is in his wound recovery.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Tom is awake and extubated!!!! He looks awesome (minus his mustache from where his tube was taped ;-) He is smiling and interactive although still a little confused but whispering answers appropriately. He still has a long road but this was the greatest accomplishment so far!!!! Thanks for all the prayers and positive thinking! I know he would have continued to fight to get to this point on his own but all of you pulling for him definitely helped. No words can express our thanks!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ICU syndrome

Let me start this by saying Tom is stable. Many things are continuing to improve but Tom's mental status and respiratory status are still problematic. They had to up the amount of Propofol that Tom was getting after I left last night. Early this am he became extremely agitated and they had to give him Versed (another sedative) because his respiratory rate went up to 48 and he couldn't be calmed. They are terming Tom's condition at this point as ICU syndrome or ICU psychosis. (I am choosing to use "syndrome" because I think it sounds nicer.) I will give you a brief rundown of what this is and then let you know the new plan of action.

So, ICU syndrome is a very common situation seen in patients who have been in the ICU for an extended period of time. Many factors play into causing a patient to have ICU syndrome both environmental and medical. Tom of course has multiple factors from each category.

On the environmental side of things, he is probably suffering from severe sleep deprivation. Even though he has been sedated for a long time his sleep pattern is continually interrupted due to assessments, changing his position, beeping of monitors and IV pumps, tests, visitors, ect. His mind and body have both been severely stressed due to his illness.
On the medical side, infection, medications, electrolyte imbalances, as well as just being critically ill can all cause symptoms of ICU syndrome.

Symptoms of ICU syndrome are all things we have seen in Tom: fluctuating levels of conciousness, aggressive behavior, agitation, disorientation and the like.

The good news is it will resolve, the bad news is that in order to help him they will need to put him on more meds and keep him sedated while these new meds have a chance to get in his system and do their job. So, no extubation in the next few days. He also still has some electrolytes that are out of whack so they are still working on resolving that. The long road just got a bit longer...

But just so you all know our Tom is in there, I saw him yesterday. He even lifted his head and closed his lips when I asked him for a kiss. He'll be back to us, it's just a matter of time. Thanks for all the love for Tom, me, and our entire family!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

tues night update

Tom did pretty well off his sedation for most of the morning but became very agitated in the afternoon. He definitely knew when family was here today. They did have to put him on a little sedation in the later afternoon but they are hoping they can keep it minimal and wean him back of it tomorrow. They are hoping to just take the edge off overnight. Keep you fingers crossed. They are still working out a few kinks with his electrolytes and fluid balance but most of his labs continue to improve. Infectious disease decided that his rash is a drug reaction to one of his antibiotics so they stopped it today. Inevitably he now has thrush in his mouth so they are swabbing him with Nystatin. We are watching American Idol right now...I think he would be calmer if they weren't singing Elvis songs tonite. Hope to have even better news tomorrow.
Good night all.

Tues news

This will be a short post cause I don't have a lot of info yet but the MRI came back negative for septic emboli which is great news. Tom looks especially handsome today, he got a super clean-up and shave and even got himself some new kicks (special boots to help his foot-drop from being bedridden for so long). When I have more info I will send it along.

Monday, April 12, 2010

waiting game

Tom has been waiting to get an MRI all day, all weekend in fact. I just got back and the final word is that it will actually happen at 8pm tonite. It is being done so late because getting him there and getting the MRI done is a big production based on the fact that he is on the vent and so many drips, machines, ect. They have to disconnect Tom from the vent his is on and put him on another vent, they need him to be quite sedated so that he remains still so they get good pictures, they need disconnect him from all the metal he is attached to, and they need a window of about two hours to do all this work. Hopefully, we will all have some answers soon. They also didn 't do his dressing change today because they are waiting until after they disconnect him from the wound vac. He can only be disconnected from it for a certain amount of time so they will do it after the MRI. Most everything else remains the same...improving but ever so slowly. Although, he does have a new rash covering his entire body. Infectious disease has seen him as well as his surgeon and intensivist and they all think it is a drug reaction...likely to the antibiotic they put him on for his nasty pneumonia. They are giving him Benadryl around the clock to see if it helps. If it does they will keep him on the antibiotic, if not they will change it. His sodium is high again today, 151, so they are correcting that. They are clearing a lot of mucus out of his lungs which is good too. He just had a period of about 5-7 min where is was looking at me and quiet. I was talking to him quietly about funny stories from the past and singing to him (NOT a pretty moment!) He definately looked as though he was in there. He blinked a few times and I really felt like he could hear me...and he wasn't even trying to get away from my horrible singing voice...that must be a good sign right?

I will let you know any news as soon as I do. Please continue with the prayers and positive thinking.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

baby steps are OK, they are still steps forward

I am very impatient today for whatever reason, I think the lack of adequate sleep is getting to me. When I got the the hospital today the nurse told me they were starting Tom back on Precedex to help with his agitation. So, now we are back to 3 meds to keep him comfortable and quiet. I expressed my frustration with Scott the PA in charge of him today that I feel as though we are going around in circles. He was very honest and said yes we are. They just can't find a reason as to why Tom comes out of the sedation in such a wild manner and the problem is that when he does that he drops his oxygen sats into the 70's (NOT GOOD) and it starts the cycle all over again. More sedation, up the vent settings, and so on. Today they have not been able to trial CPAP again because his chest x-ray wasn't looking to good and he is very secretional. The thing to keep in mind is that Tom is not getting worse...he just isn't getting any better either in the mental status/respiratory status departments. Although, his electrolytes are stabilizing and his kidney function is continuing to improve. Tomorrow will bring another dressing change. The wound and infection remain under control which is a huge accomplishment.

I am feeling much better after a visit with Mark and Kenny today. They certainly lifted my spirits. Thanks so much guys! I am looking forward to spending the late afternoon with the girls and Trot. I think a trip to the park is in order for some fresh air, sunshine, and laughter.

I will close for now with this thought...slow and steady wins the race.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

saturday night fever

I know some of you were unable to read the blog I wrote this am. I am not sure what happened but some people could and others couldn't. Anyway, here is the gist of the day, some of it may be repetative. Tom has a fever of 102.3 tonight. So, they are once again doing blood/fungal cultures, urine culture, stool culture. He was breathing on his own for about 10 hours today which is good exercise for his lungs but tonite he has dropped his oxygen sats to 88-90%. They are doing a chest x-ray now to make sure his ET tube is still in place because he has had periods of agitation again. They restarted Versed, a sedative, today because of his agitation. They are trying to get a handle on why Tom is either completely sedated or Hulk-wild. At my request they sent an ammonia level which could be part of the reason of his mental status change. The next move is a MRI of his brain to rule out infectious emboli in his brain and or maybe a spinal tap. His kidney function continues to very slowly improve but at least that is a step in the right direction. His creatnine is down to 3.4 from 6.5 for all you healthcare professionals out there. Also, his bicarb level jumped from 18 to 22 today which is the first time he has had a normal bicarb since admit. That's all I have today. Thanks for all the thoughts, concern and prayers. I know it is helping me get through this and I believe it will help Tom too. Love to all.

On a lighter note the girls went to their swimming lessons with grandma and grandpa today and then headed to CT to go see their cousins. For the most part they are still distractable which is good.
I haven't seen the PA (physician's assistant) yet today who is in charge of Tom but from what his nurse Cathy is saying they are planning to due an MRI of Tom's brain to make sure he has no "septic emboli" in his brain. Septic emboli would be bacteria from his initial infection (group A strep) which traveled elsewhere in his body. They don't necessarily think he does but with how difficult it has been to wake him up, they want to rule it out. My good friend and co-worker Kristen text paged me this am asking if they had checked Tom's ammonia level...It's funny but I had questioned that myself as I was trying to go to sleep last night. Great minds think alike! ;-) Thanks Kris. I mentioned it to the nurse, they haven't checked it since his admit but she agrees that with his decreased kidney and liver function and acute pancreatitis that it is a distinct possibility so they will check it. I guess even though I am not working my critical thinking skills are still intact. Last night they were unable to extubate Tom and overnight he became very agitated and they had to put him back on Versed (sedation) and adjust the vent because he dropped his oxygen saturation. He also has increased respiratory secretions so I am guessing that they won't successfully extubate today either. As most of you know, sleep is one of Tom's favorite hobbies. I am actually beginning to think that Tom is enjoying all of his sleep so he is going to milk this for all it's worth. He always tells me he wants to "sleep til the sleeping is done." I guess he intends to do just that...I may join him for some ZZZ's. Catch up with you all later.


I haven't seen the PA (physician's assistant) yet today who is in charge of Tom but from what his nurse Cathy is saying they are planning to due an MRI of Tom's brain to make sure he has no "septic emboli" in his brain. Septic emboli would be bacteria from his initial infection (group A strep) which traveled elsewhere in his body. They don't necessarily think he does but with how difficult it has been to wake him up, they want to rule it out. My good friend and co-worker Kristen text paged me this am asking if they had checked Tom's ammonia level...It's funny but I had questioned that myself as I was trying to go to sleep last night. Great minds think alike! ;-) Thanks Kris. I mentioned it to the nurse, they haven't checked it since his admit but she agrees that with his decreased kidney and liver function and acute pancreatitis that it is a distinct possibility so they will check it. I guess even though I am not working my critical thinking skills are still intact. Last night they were unable to extubate Tom and overnight he became very agitated and they had to put him back on Versed (sedation) and adjust the vent because he dropped his oxygen saturation. He also has increased respiratory secretions so I am guessing that they won't successfully extubate today either. As most of you know, sleep is one of Tom's favorite hobbies. I am actually beginning to think that Tom is enjoying all of his sleep so he is going to milk this for all it's worth. He always tells me he wants to "sleep til the sleeping is done." I guess he intends to do just that...I may join him for some ZZZ's. Catch up with you all later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

open up your eyes

The plan is to extubate (remove the breathing tube) today. The doctors decided to shut off Tom's sedation aggressively to get him to wake up so at this point he is only receiving Fentanyl (a pain med). But, there is still Versed, Propofol, and Precedex in his system so he just needs to metabolize that out of his system and hopefully open his beautiful eyes today. Once he is more awake they will extubate him. At this point he is breathing on his own although his respiratory rate is slow 6-10. The ventilator will provide respiratory support if he needs it before he wakes up. The docs think he is having a tough time waking up because his kidney function still is not great so he is not excreting the meds as quickly as someone else would. Dr. Potter changed his wound dressing today and said his wound continues to look very healthy. Tom is on contact precautions now due to the bacteria that grew from his sputum culture so we get to wear gloves and pretty yellow gowns while visiting ;-0.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

we have an answer

Today we found out Tom actually does have pneumonia. He had fevers on and off all day. They keep trying to wean his sedation and take him off the vent but no success so far. Maybe tomorrow.
Not much of an update but I am exhausted. I will let you know more as soon as I do.

little steps forward

I just got to the hospital, since it is still early not too much has happened or changed. The good news is his temp has been down since last night and his white blood cell count (WBC and sign of infection is also down.) They are still managing his electrolyte imbalances and replacing electrolytes as needed. His sodium was high has come down a little but is not quite normal yet. Again, Tom's kidney function is slowly improving. The plan today is to have an abdominal ultrasound. They are also consulting neurology to see why he is so agitated when they go down on his sedation, having said that they are hoping to successfully wean his sedation AGAIN. They haven't been successful yet but at some point they will...maybe today will be the day!

Hannah showed some of her mom's mad soccer skills yesterday. Tom would be proud even though he thinks soccer is "girlie". I guess that is fitting since Hannah is actually a girl ;-). Caitlyn had a hard time going to bed last night and missed her daddy. I told her to think of something about daddy that makes her happy...she said, "He makes the best BBQ chicken," and then quickly settled to sleep. This morning I made scrambled eggs and she told me that she didn't want them because "they weren't as good as daddy's." Lucky for my self-esteem Trot gobbled them up.

Tom is chill right now and listening to the Black Crowes. (Thanks Pat!)
I'll write more as the day goes on.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

it's been a week

So, it was about this time a week ago, I brought Tom into the doctor. What a crazy week it has been. This morning Tom is still running fevers 102-103, but as of yet they have no reason for the fevers. His initial infection group A Strep is under control on 2 IV antibiotics. His wound dressing was changed yesterday and the site looks very healthy per his surgeon Dr. Potter. They have 2 suction catheters removing drainage from his wound via the wound vac. I just spoke with the Dr. Williams the infectious disease doctor who said at this point he has no evidence of pneumonia, his urine culture is negative, and blood cultures they drew yesterday have no growth to date although it takes 72 hours for them to be negative. Dr. Williams said they will continue to monitor him closely but there is also the possibility that his fevers are a side effect of one of his meds. All this is difficult to determine so it may be a few days before they have an answer to the fevers. His electrolytes are a little out of whack so they changed some IV fluids. His kidney function continues to slowly improve. He is still swollen from all the fluids he received. They are feeding him through an oral-gastric tube and are giving him protein supplements which will all help with wound healing.

Hannah and Caitlyn are doing as well as they can. They miss daddy but know that he has a big boo-boo and that the doctors are keeping him sleepy so it doesn't hurt too much. Hannah starts soccer this evening so she is very excited. Trot keeps looking around for Tom...he seems very confused. All in all we are OK.

For some it is hard to understand that it has been a week and there isn't much improvement. I know where you are all coming from, I want Tom to be awake and smiling too. But as a nurse I understand that the littlest improvements are just as important as the big ones. The doctors will wake him when they feel he can handle the pain associated with this overwhelming wound. He is doing better he just isn't out of the woods yet. Be patient. I know Tom will be back with us. Keep the faith. Love to all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tom causing trouble?

Tom remains stable today. No vast improvements but no set backs either. He has a fever today of 102.7 so they are monitoring that. They drew blood cultures to see if he has another infection and also did a chest x-ray to see if he is developing peumonia which is a big risk from being sedentary in bed and from being on the ventilaltor. He had an MRI of his right elbow last night because on Easter he smashed his elbow into the siderail of his bed after arousing from his sedation and extubating himself (pulling out his breathing tube.) His elbow actually looks much better today and the orthopedic docs think it is just an inflammation. The surgeons decided not to take him to the OR today, instead they are going to change his wound dressing in his ICU room. They will due surgery at a later date if his condition warrants it. His kidney function continues to slowly improve. The nurses here have nicknamed Tom "TROUBLE" which shouldn't surprise any of you. Docs are here,gotta run. Will write more later

Monday, April 5, 2010

St. Vincent's Day 6

As many of you know, Tom was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent's hospital last week. I am starting this blog to help keep everyone updated with his status. For those of you who were not aware, I will give a brief overview of the last week.

Wed. March 31st: Tom asked me to take him to the Dr. He looked awful and was complaining about pain in his side and a "infected scratch" on his back. He had been vomiting and the such for about 2 days and had body aches. When he was seen at the doctor his condition was rapidly declining and he was taken by ambulance to St. V's. He received a ton of IV fluids, he was in toxic shock, and in acute renal (kidney) failure. He was started on IV antibiotics and admitted to the ICU.

Thursday April 1st: Tom was extremely confused due to his kidney failure and overwhelming infection. He was given meds to keep him calm and comfortable. He was taken to surgery because the doctors suspected that he may have necrotizing faciitis (known to most of you as the "flesh-eating bacteria"). The surgeons went in to clean out the area which extended from his spine, around his right side and up into the right side of his chest and arm pit, of any "dead" tissue. He was kept sedated and on a ventilator ( breathing machine). Tom had a very difficult night Thurs and was very critical. They were able to stablize him by the morning.

On Sat Tom had a second surgery as they found more skin and tissue that needed to be removed. He is "critically stable" at this point. They are keeping him on the vent and keeping him deeply sedated. His kidney function is slowly improving. The doctors are planning another trip to surgery tomorrow to once again clean out this huge wound. They are hoping to be able to wake him in the next few days.

So many of you have been so supportive already and I am so grateful and appreciative. I know Tom is too (although he has no concept of what has happened in the last several days.) I am sorry it has taken so long to get in touch with all of you but things have been overwhelming and days are just flying by. This is going to be a long journey for Tom so please keep your prayers and support coming.