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.