My Timeline

Monday, July 13, 2015, Morning - Stephanie goes to work and texts her mother around 11:00AM complaining of a headache, possibly a migraine. She leaves work and arrives home around 11:40AM. Shortly after walking into the house she proceeds to the upstairs bathroom where she vomits repeatedly. Directly thereafter she withdraws to her bedroom to take a nap with the blinds drawn and takes Excedrin for the migraine.

Monday, July 13, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie sleeps for several hours and awakens feeling somewhat refreshed in the later part of the afternoon. The headache has diminished some and she comes down to the kitchen to have something to eat and returns afterward to her room to rest again. 

Monday, July 13, 2015, Late Afternoon - Stephanie reawakens and complains of shortness of breath and general anxiety. Her heart rate is elevated to 120 BPM and her mother decides to take her to the after-hours urgent care three miles from her home. Her BG reading is approximately 140 prior to entering the urgent care facility. In the urgent care she is seen by a physician who takes her necessary vitals and monitors for approximately an hour and a half. During this period of time Stephanie’s heart rate returns to a more acceptable rate and her shortness of breath disappears and she feels more relaxed and less anxious. The physician at urgent care permits her to leave when she feels ready. 

Monday, July 13, 2015, Early Evening - Stephanie returns home from urgent care and has some soup and some ice cream and then heads back to bed to lie down because she still feels a little woozie. 

Monday, July 13, 2015, Night - Stephanie wakes up around 10:00PM and begins to complain again of shortness of breath, anxiety, and also extreme thirst despite having many glasses of water. She tries to relax in bed but the discomfort and thirst make her agitated and anxious. She asks for Nick to come to the house.

Monday, July 13, 2015, Late Night - Stephanie asks to have Nick take her to the emergency room at University of Rochester. They arrive at the hospital near midnight and wait for two hours to get into the emergency room and be seen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Early Morning - The emergency room doctors believe Stephanie is dealing with a case of DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis. Her BG reading at this point is now in the 400s. They administer an IV of fluids to deal with the DKA, take a lung x-ray, and keep her in the ER to observe what happens. Her lungs show no sign of insult.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Early Morning - The emergency room doctors decide to admit Stephanie to the hospital and send her upstairs to the ICU at around 5:00AM. She is not responding the way she should to the treatment for ketoacidosis. It’s at this point that the ICU doctors believe they are dealing with more than just a complication of diabetes. In fact, the doctors now believe they are dealing with possible pneumonia. A second chest x-ray is conducted and, in sharp contrast with the earlier x-ray performed in ER, her lungs are no longer looking good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Morning - Close to 10:00AM and still alert but extremely fatigued Stephanie is prepped for intubation in ICU. She’s extremely thirsty but cannot be given and fluids due to the possibilities of what are ahead.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Noon - Although intubated and ventilated, it’s becoming apparent that Stephanie’s lungs are not working very well even with the help of the ventilator. Something is very wrong. It’s suspected at this point that the cause of the pneumonia may likely be from aspirated vomit from when she was sick on Monday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Early Afternoon - Stephanie becomes hypoxic as her oxygen levels start to desaturate. Her oxygen levels fall from the 90s into the mid 80s, and then continue to fall into the 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, and the 30s. The situation goes from critical to serious to life threatening extremely fast. The nurses and doctors are fighting to save her. Despite attempts with various techniques, nothing is working. They’re simply losing her. The entire situation is looking incredibly grim.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Afternoon - All options exhausted, the ICU doctors quickly consult with the vascular team to discuss Stephanie’s case in the hope that the vascular team will approve and initiate the ECMO procedure to save her life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Late Afternoon - The vascular team approves ECMO for Stephanie and they prepare to move her to the OR immediately to begin this life-saving surgery. Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Early Evening - The surgery lasts approximately two hours. It’s successful. She’s stabilized and her oxygen levels are now at 100%.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Evening - Bad news again. Stephanie is now hemorrhaging from where the lines to the ECMO were put in above her breast. It’s severe. Stephanie is rushed back to the OR for emergency surgery to stop the blood loss. She’s given 16 units of blood. The surgeons succeed in stopping the hemorrhage and she returns back to the ECMO unit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015, Morning- Stephanie makes it throughout the night with no more hemorrhaging.

Thursday, July 16, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie is stable. ECMO is down from 100% of the work to 70% of the work. Stephanie is doing the rest on her own, if only 30% still they are small victories.

Friday, July 17, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie needs the cannula repositioned. Surgeons successfully perform the procedure right in the ECMO room. It works.

Saturday, July 18, 2015, Noon - ECMO has caused some complications with Stephanie’s right arm. Her arm is swelling from the backup of blood and fluid. She has what’s known as Compartment Syndrome. If not treated promptly the arm could lose functionality or, even worse, could die and require amputation.

Saturday, July 18, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie has a fasciotomy to relieve pressure in her right arm. The procedure does what it needs to do and the arm is spared from amputation.

Sunday, July 19, 2015, Early Morning - They’re removing the sedation and paralytic from Stephanie but no idea how long it could take to bring her out of her coma.

Sunday, July 19, 2015, Morning - The doctors inform family that there is a strong probability of some type of brain damage from the lack of oxygen Stephanie experienced. There is no way to know for sure as it varies in individuals. Time will tell as she awakens what the extent of any brain damage is in her.

Sunday, July 19, 2015, Mid Morning - Stephanie starts to become agitated from the removal of paralytic and sedation. There is fear that she may disrupt the tubing and pull the lines out. Drugs are increased once again to avoid any problems.

Sunday, July 19, 2015, Late Morning - Stephanie responds to her mother’s voice and is able to wiggle her toes and blink her eyes on request from the medical staff. She is NOT brain dead!

Monday, July 20, 2015, Morning - They are getting ready to remove Stephanie from ECMO. She’s doing most of the work on her own now.

Monday, July 20, 2015, Mid Morning - Steph is off ECMO and doing just fine on her own, They will be moving her up to the regular MICU soon.

Monday, July 20, 2015, Afternoon - Steph is wiggling her toes and opening her eyes. She’s like a newborn baby trying to focus for the first time.

Monday, July 20, 2015, Night - Steph is all set up in her new room on the 8th floor ICU.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015, Middle of The Night - Steph is having her hair washed at 3:26AM. She’s moving around a lot and sliding out of bed sideways. She’s ready to get the hell out of ICU.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015, Late Afternoon - Stephanie unexpectedly desats down to 50. The medical staff and doctors quickly stabilize her. It’s a very scary situation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Morning - Stephanie experienced several episodes of desatting during the night but appears stable now. Lung x-rays look very good.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Evening - Plastic surgery team is in to see Stephanie and feels confident about repairing her arm where the fasciotomy is.

Thursday, July 23, 2015, Evening - Stephanie is responding to staff that she understands where she is and what has happened to her. She is smiling as best as a person can smile with a tube down her throat. Stephanie is smiling and shaking her head no when asked if she is in any pain.

Saturday, July 25, 2015, Evening - The ventilator is way down and Stephanie is doing a fantastic job. She’s very tired though.

Sunday, July 26, 2015, Late Morning - Stephanie is giving staff that she likes a thumbs-up gesture. Staff she doesn’t like she gives the middle finger to them.

Monday, July 27, 2015, Morning - Stephanie is working with physical therapy. She’s sitting on the edge of the bed and doing very well.

Monday, July 27, 2015, Late Morning - The ventilator is out and Stephanie is breathing on her own!

Monday, July 27, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie is speaking softly and indicating that she doesn’t want any visitors right now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015, Morning - Stephanie is up and moving around with assistance from her nurses.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, Morning - Stephanie just walked a lap and a half around the MICU!

Thursday, July 30, 2015, Morning - Stephanie is having surgery to close up three of the four incisions in her right arm from the fasciotomy.

Friday, July 31, 2015, Morning - Stephanie is starting back on her insulin pump. Her discharge from the hospital largely depends on how stable her diabetes is.

Friday, July 31, 2015, Late Night - Stephanie is moving out of the ICU down to a regular hospital room for just a few hours.

Saturday, August 1, 2015, Morning - Stephanie IS LEAVING THE HOSPITAL and going home despite just being released from ICU.

Saturday, August 1, 2015, Afternoon - Stephanie is home now and happy. Best day of everyone's life watching her walk back up the front steps again to the house.

Sunday, August 2, 2015, Afternoon - Today Stephanie is celebrating her 21st birthday with all her family and friends!

Thursday, August 20, Morning - Stephanie has plastic surgery to fix the scars left from the ECMO. A skin graft is performed with skin taken from her right outer thigh and placed over the gaping incision on her right arm. The process is successful, albeit painful. She almost passes out from the pain on the way home from the hospital. Not because of her arm but due to the sensitivity and pain of the skin donor site located on her thigh.

Friday, September 19, 2015 - Stephanie will return back to work at Strong on October 1, 2015!

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - Stephanie has her first reconstructive surgery for her arm. The plastic surgeon excises the skin graft. Only the edges of the initial graft remain, and is stitched closed. Her arm is very tight because so much skin was removed.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 - Stephanie has her second and final reconstructive/revision surgery with her plastic surgeon. The remaining edges of the skin graft were completely excised and it looks beautiful.