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Posted 2018-12-01T23:07:00Z

How we got here...

November 13th Michael was diagnosed with mono while at college (University of Wisconsin Madison).
Friday November 16th Michael came home to Kennebunk, ME for Thanksgiving break, a few days early so he could rest and get his papers done. 
Coincidentally, Michael had a routine physical scheduled on Tuesday November 20th. Michael still has the mono, but was on the mend, and there were zero other concerns from that physical.
Thanksgiving Day, Michael went to Newport RI and enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with lots of family. Friday evening, on the way home from RI, Michael felt very sick and was suddenly having trouble breathing. He went to the ER and was told these were just symptoms of mono.
Michael continued to feel very sick over the weekend and returned to the ER on Sunday night, and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Michael went to his primary care physician on Monday morning (11/26). He was admitted to the Elliot Hospital in Manchester, NH to treat the pneumonia. 
Late Tuesday night, Michael was coughing and hacking for a couple of hours, running a high fever, and having trouble breathing. They decided to move him immediately to the ICU.
All day Wednesday, Michael sat in the ICU and concentrated on taking deep slow breaths, in through the nose out through the mouth. The nurse told us what he was doing was the equivalent of running a marathon. The one vital we were watching, his oxygenation, needed to stay above 92. Michael could not see the screen from his bed, so he obsessively asked us what it was, even by just the point of a finger as he could hardly speak. He was so determined to keep it up in high 90s by sticking with the right breathing pattern.
He fought hard all day long, until about 7pm when the attending physician decided his lungs needed a rest, and Michael needed the support of a ventilator. 
Michael was put into a medically induced coma, and the intubation procedure was completed successfully. However, around 6am the next morning (Thursday 11/29), they decided to helicopter Michael to Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston. They made this decision in large part due to the fact that Brigham & Women's hospital has ECMO, and Elliot did not. ECMO is another way of supporting the lungs. It is a machine that takes blood from the patient, oxygenates the blood, and pumps it back into the patient. In the event that Michael may need ECMO, the doctors at Elliot decided to be proactive and get Michael down to Brigham & Women's.

Michael arrived to Brigham & Women's Hospital safely in Boston around 11:30am on Thursday, November 29th

The ICU team assessed Michael, sat the family down, and explained to us that he is in critical, life-threatening condition.

Michael has A.R.D.S (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and needs 100% oxygen support from the ventilator.The ICU team, the Infectious Disease team, and the Hematology team began to work very hard to stabilize Michael and determine what else might be causing him to be so ill. 

Friday night (11/30), the hematologists declared they believe Michael has HLH, a syndrome that causes the immune system to have a severe and violent overreaction to illness. HLH can be genetic, or it can be onset by something like mono. It is a clinical diagnosis. Michael showed several symptoms of HLH, enough so that the doctors decided to start treatment.

Saturday afternoon (12/1), the infectious disease team received blood results showing that Michael has the adenovirus. They started treatment right away. 

3am Sunday morning (12/2) Michael was moved to the ECMO machine in the thoracic ICU. 

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Comments (10)

  • Hayley King
    Hayley King

    Sending so much love and our prayers to Michael and your family, from ours. 🙏🏻 Stay strong. -King Family

    one year ago · Reply
  • Christine Willis
    Christine Willis

    Prayers for you all.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Bill Daley
    Bill Daley

    Michael is in my prayers. His family too. God bless him. We live in the age of advanced medical treatment and many have seen what can only be described as miraculous healing. We have hope

    one year ago · Reply
  • Val Franco
    Val Franco

    Michael, Melissa and family, you are all truly amazing. Mike is constantly in our thoughts and prayers. I know you are so thankful to be in Boston with some of the best doctors and nurses in the country. We will keep the prayers and love coming your way. Love, The Franco Family

    one year ago · Reply
  • Anne Schuyler
    Anne Schuyler

    Keeping Michael, his doctors, all who love him and all he loves, in my prayers.

    one year ago · Reply
  • mommy❤️

    Hello. I’ve just read your sons story. Sending lots of love and healing. Prayers to your son. I felt compelled to leave a message. I am a mom that hasn’t 2 kids both recently diagnosed with Lyme and Babesia. Your son story reads text book for a person suffering from a suppressed immune system that is unable to fight infections such a mono and adenovirus. Please consider having him tested for Lyme and other Co infections. This could save his life. My children have suffering these same infections. If your gut is making you question how could this be happening to my young strong healthy child Lyme could be the reason. Did you know the rate of Babesia in Wisconsin has increasing by 1800% in the past 12 years. If you are wondering how he could have acquired this infection. Does he play outdoor sports? Please consider this a possibility it could save your son’s life.

    one year ago · Reply
    • Britt

      Yes!!! Get tested for Lyme and co infections through igenex Lyme gold standard testing. Exactly what I was thinking too when I read this story

      one year ago · Reply
  • Pamela Lambert -Loring
    Pamela Lambert -Loring

    Reading the latest about Michael, I am committed to prayer this evening on his behalf and yours. With you in spirit and prayer, Amanda's mom, Pam Lambert-Loring (Amanda attended BG with Spencer.) God bless Michael and you, his family, especially Mom and Dad and siblings, and the nurses and doctors.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Britt

    I second getting tested for Lyme and co infections! I personally have Lyme and co infections and it made me VERY ILL. Get him tested by igenex. Hospital will test him through quest and it’s not sensitive enough (it’ll come out negative). Doctors told me I didn’t have lyme and I had to be my own advocate and push for it!! Thank goodness I did. Many prayers your way ♥️

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mary Cooper
    Mary Cooper

    Praying for your micheal. I know you are getting so much info and in great hands but research mega dosing of vitamin c!!!!

    one year ago · Reply