This is my sister's story....
It was around 9 am on Oct 30, 2016 when I received a call from my mom. She said my sister Pat was really sick. That she vomited in her car on her way home from work (she was an LPN & worked night shift at a nursing home). Mom said she needed to go to the ER, but she wanted to go to the closest one which was, what I called a band aid station, & mom asked me if I could talk some sense into her.
I was super busy that day, so I decided to send her a text. Asking her if she was crazy, why would she want to go to that place? Telling her that they would only transfer her to the hospital where I work (I'm an RN at a level 1 trauma center) which is only a 30 min drive. Thankfully, she made the right choice & agreed to go to the better hospital. My mom drove her. Not sure exactly why her husband couldn't, but he met up with them later.
Pat could barely walk as she was in incredible pain! Mom said she was doubled over. Fortunately, they took one look at her & took her right in. About 11:30 or so, I received smoother call from my mom saying Pat needed immediate surgery. They were doing everything they could to get her in quickly. Now this this the hardest part for me....I got to talk to Pat on the phone at that time & how did I act? I scolded her for thinking she could go to the other hospital & what was she thinking? She was trying to hold back her tears & said I was right. I wished her luck as she started crying & handed to phone back to my mom. I didn't even get to tell her I loved her! (My biggest regret)
I went about my day, getting my shopping done etc. I had just pulled into my driveway when I received a call from my mom again. It was roughly around 1:30 or so. She put the trauma surgeon on the phone. He said she is really sick, she has Necrotizing Fascitits & would require multiple surgeries. That she will have to be in the ICU & on a vent for a short time but felt it wouldn't be for too long. He said her blood sugar was almost 800!!!! (She was Type 2 diabetic, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, morbidly obese, smoker & did NOT take care of herself or take her meds) This is the moment I broke down. I felt guilty for not being nicer to her on the phone, for not telling her I loved her.
I found out later that day that she had a "spot" on her left labia that she had been "nursing" on her own. Well, it continued to get worse, it had traveled up her abdomen. I did manage to get up to the hospital later that evening. She had so many tubes, bags of fluids, was on the vent. Thankfully, she was coherent enough & knew we were there. I kept encouraging her to fight, telling her that she's in good hands, that the doctors were working hard to make her well. She nodded her head, she heard me. I told her I loved her.
From this point forward, I'm not sure how much she heard from me. They had to keep her pretty sedated. She wad on multiple meds to keep her blood pressure up. She went to surgery almost every day until she got so septic that they could only go every other day. She ended up with a trach, tubes coming out of every hole possible. She was on continuous dialysis. Every time they took her to surgery, they cut away more & more & she kept getting sicker & sicker. This infection ate her up vaginally, rectally, & abdominally as well as up her back side. Finally, on Nov 12, 2016 we had made the decision that we needed to have a family meeting with the surgeon, to see what her chances were of survival. He said that when they started she had a 75% chance of coming out of this, but the course of the infection & her poor health status, that she only had MAYBE a 30% chance & that was stretching it. We knew she didn't want to live on a vent or on dialysis or in a nursing home. We respected her wishes & her living will.
Now, we had to wait until our church pastor could come to give her her last rights. To bless her on her journey to her Heavenly home. So, late evening on Nov 13, 2016 she was taken off of everything except the pain medicine. Her husband stayed by her side all night. The next morning, he needed to go home to feed their pets & take them potty. I was on my way when my mom called & said to hurry because she thought Pat was gong quickly. I rushed out the door, but she had died while I was on my way there. I guess she wanted to pass on with just our mom there & no one else. It was her choice.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her, wish I could here her voice one mote time. I know she's with me, she always will be. Thank you for letting me tell my sister's story & thank you for having this group, this foundation for us to get support.