Wednesday began with a 2 am phone call...
Tuesday night before we left Justin he didn't seem himself. He said his stomach hurt and he really just wanted to use the bathroom. My mom told his nurse to call if he needed anything because she said "something just doesn't seem right with him today." At 2 am the nurse called because Justin's blood pressure dropped to 53/34 with a heart rate of 155. They could not figure out why this was happening. He went through the night getting worse and worse while different treatment options were attempted. He finally went to CT in the morning and it appeared that Justin's bowels were possibly dying. He also had an Echocardiogram of his heart the day before. It showed a small amount of fluid around his heart. The CT also showed his lungs still not looking great. The conclusion finally came that Justin needed an emergency surgery to figure out what was going on in the bowels, and the fluid around his heart needed to be drained.
When I arrived at the hospital around 9 am (Oh because my dad did not want to wake me up) he was very pale and had peri-oral cyanosis (He was turning blue around his mouth). Justin's oxygenation was getting worse and he was starting to get tired from breathing. He body was very cold. He was in bad shape and it all happened very quickly. Around 1 pm they decided they needed to intubate him because he was going to tire out soon and then he was off to surgery.
Before going to surgery we were told he would possibly come back with a colostomy bag, gallbladder may need to be removed, possible colon resection if any bowel died. They also wanted to drain the fluid around the heart.
Thankfully the surgery went well! The little bit of fluid around the heart ended up being A LOT of fluid around his heart. So much he went into Cardiogenic Shock with restrictive cardiomyopathy causing cardiac tamponade. His EKG showed pericarditis. (Pretty much this means his heart couldn't beat normally because all the fluid was squeezing the around the heart. This caused his blood pressure to decrease). Removing the fluid immediately increased his blood pressure and helped correct his vitals. Then they had to open up his abdomen (which couldn't be done with a camera because of the risk of air pressure compressing the vascular system and causing the blood pressure to worsen). Thankfully when they opened his abdomen up there was no dead bowels (just a lot of stool) and his gallbladder was fine, but his liver was very enlarged and swollen. (This was due to the back flow of fluid around his heart) We also found out that Justin has a hole in his heart known as ASD(Atrial septal defect). He has probably had the problem since birth we just never knew about it. Overall, the surgery went better than expected. The surgeons were preparing for the worst, and so were we.
Thankfully the last few days Justin has been doing a lot better. He is still in CCU and most likely will remain there throughout the weekend. The decision to do hand flaps are still up in the air because the plastic surgeons and hand surgeon are not sure if he is stable enough for a 10-14 hour surgery. Tuesday he will go in for routine washouts of his wounds. In surgery they will place him on his side (the position needed for flaps) and see if he can handle it without dropping his oxygenation.
Today he was very tired and slept most of the day. Our cousin Kelli flew in from Hawaii to visit yesterday and Auntie Lori had to go home tonight :(. Justin enjoyed seeing family (even if he slept most of the day on them). As long as Justin continues to do well throughout the weekend and is up to it he may receive his Purple Heart on Monday!
We want to thank Eryn Ogren and Crystal Atwood for putting together the Pizza Fundraiser. Thank you to everyone that supported it! It was so wonderful to hear that the city came together to support Justin. We even received a call from the City of Rancho asking for updates on Justin. Thank you to everyone for supporting Justin and our family through this tough time. We have our good days and bad days and Wednesday was probably one of the worst days. At the same time we are so thankful everything turned out okay this week. Justin is very appreciative of everything and tells us all the time to thank everyone!
We hope everyone has a good weekend and good night from Bethesda!