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Perry DiGiovanni - Journal

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Posted 2015-08-03T03:21:55Z

August 2nd, 2015 - Day 6 Post Surgery - Another Tube Down!

Another day of great progress and milestones! Perry was awakened twice overnight to check ability to follow commands and he also received 2 units of blood for hemoglobin as his levels were 6.6 during the night & post transfusion increased to 8.5. His creatinine dropped to 1.98 from 2.2 last report which is another good sign that his kidneys are handling things well as this is trending downwards - 1.5 would be great![...]

Posted 2015-08-01T23:24:00Z

August 1st, 2015 - Day 5 Post Surgery - 2 Chest Tubes Removed!

First report from the nurse in the morning said it was another uneventful night, and again no news is good news overnight. Today, Misty (with Perry's full knowledge) consented to the tracheostomy procedure to take place when they decide to extubate next (still estimated for Monday). This is a good thing as there is lower risk of infection, rather than continuing intubate, and it should help make breathing less laborious for the time being. They also removed 2 chest tubes today with 4 more to go! His heart continues to do well, lungs are being strengthened with the extended intubation and kidney creatinine levels seems to be doing well.[...]

Posted 2015-08-01T00:43:45Z

July 31st, 2015 - Day 4 Post Surgery

Yesterday, Perry was on and off his oxygen mask after removing the vent. He admitted that it was laborious to breath when off the mask although each time it was removed (3-4 times throughout the day) he went longer an longer on his own. The doctor was a bit concerned with the carbon dioxide levels showing in his blood work and wanted to monitor that through the night.[...]

Posted 2015-07-29T23:22:50Z

July 29th, 2015 - Day 2 Post Surgery

Today was a great day!  Perry was awake, alert & responding to communications with nods, hand gestures, blinks & winks.  He was up for a photoshoot to give all of his supporters a big thumbs up & Michael & Ryan even got to play a game of charades with him to find out that he wanted to take a 20 minute nap (on the nosey!).[...]

Posted 2015-07-29T00:13:00Z

July 28th, 2015 - Day 1 Post Surgery

His facial swelling has significantly decreased, his color has remained pink through the night & today, his breathing has remained calm while on the vent.  There have not been indications of internal bleeding from the chest walls which is a major hurdle thus far & the bleeding from his chest tubes is within normal limits.  He is still currently heavily sedated.  Earlier today, he had a heart echo to check R heart function, & he is receiving medications to pace & increase his heart rate in efforts to increase his BP & to help both ventricles contract better as they have been a bit sluggish.  They plan to proceed with decreasing sedation & try to wean him from vent, but they want to see improvements in the stability of his BP, monitored #'s relative to the pressure of the vessels servicing his neck & head, & his oxygen dependency on the vent before they trial extubating (removing the breathing tube) him.  Time will tell & all is determined by how Perry's new heart & lungs continue to function.  There have not been many alarming issues today & each visit continues to show improvements.  He has been able to briefly open his eyes, squeeze our hands, wiggle his toes, & gently nod to answer questions when the sedation meds are decreased.  He opened his eyes 5 times during my last visit without the decrease of sedation meds.  He is receiving excellent care from his healthcare team & has continued to receive 1:1 nursing care.  I am almost sure that he knows he is still "with us" & not dreaming.  He is receiving praise by all of us, & we are sharing all of the expressed love & support from all of you!!!!         [...]

Posted 2015-07-28T23:23:21Z

July 27th, 2015 - Move to ICU

We were able to see Perry in the ICU a few hours after speaking with the surgeon. We weren't sure what to expect, but upon seeing him for the first time everyone was very pleased to see that he had a very healthy complexion with pink lips, fingers and toes! His entire body was very swollen which was to be expected. Misty was ecstatic when she got to see the first blood draw and the blood was bright red (highly oxygenated)! She had never seen it so red as it was normally a dark purple over the years from decreased lung function.[...]

Posted 2015-07-28T23:07:00Z

July 27th, 2015 - Day of Surgery

Perry started surgery around 7:30 AM.   Around 12 PM, we received our first communication that Perry's new heart & lungs had been implanted & the heart was beating well!!!!  A few hours later, we were able to speak with surgeon face to face as Perry was in the process of being closed up.   Per Dr. McCurry, the new heart & lungs are doing well. The extraction of Perry's left lung was "extremely difficult" & such was emphasized to us many times - due to numerous collateral blood vessels needing to be cauterized so his internal chest walls are "very raw" with the potential major risk of internal bleeding & the possibility of needing to re-open his chest if indicated.  (We knew that going into the surgery & until they were actually in his chest & that the extraction could possibly be a fatal outcome.)  He will be closely monitored for internal bleeding throughout the night.  There is a high risk potential of renal failure over the next few days, which is a risk we were aware of before the procedure, as his kidneys try to figure out from where they are getting their signals to work. The next few hours & days will be extremely critical. The doctor is pleased with the outcomes so far. We expect that he will be on ventilator & heavily sedated for a few days depending on his progress.[...]