[eDebate] Skip's Health
Wed Sep 24 15:00:38 CDT 2008
This note is in response to so many of you in the debate community who have made enquiries, sent emails and cards and offered assistance to our debaters concerning my health. The rumor of my demise is slightly exaggerated.
Briefly, I entered the University Hospital on May 22nd, after a late night emergency room visit. Several days later a team performed abdominal surgery, a thirteen hour and 12 units of blood venture. Everything looked good until I began to spike a fever. They took me back to surgery, opened me up again and found nothing. I subsequently went into shock and my lungs shut down. That's when they discovered that I had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a condition that often sets of a cascade of major organ failures and death. My critical care team worked nonstop for days to reclaim me. They did a tracheotomy, kept me on a ventilator and flooded my body with liquid to keep up my blood pressure. They tried a number of remedies including some exotic gases and then went for what they called a "Hail Mary" by putting me on an oscillating ventilator, something mostly used in neonatology-this worked and I stabilized. In the meantime, I was kept in a chemical coma and woke up over a month later in a mid-level rehabilitation hospital in their intensive care unit. I was unable to move arms, legs or head. Since then all feeling has returned, I was moved to a rehabilitation hospital and went to work. I came home last week with a wheel chair a walker and a cane, none of which I now need.
I am on the way back. I hope to take up my teaching duties in Jan. and come out for a couple of tournaments late in the spring. I was incredibly lucky to beat the odds on this ARDS stuff, but it wouldn't have happened without amazing medical support, the constant vigilance of my immediate family (they read to me constantly), the incredibly supportive and hard work of the UTSA Debate Squad and university administration, the prayers and thoughts of the debate community and the extended communities of my friends. I am grateful to all of you, and I hope to be back among you soon!
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