Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Update on my friend Kyle's condition

Back on May 9th I wrote a post about my friend and brother, Kyle, who was in the hospital. This post is all about updating those wondering about his condition. His condition is good.

Oh, right. More detail. Kyle spent just over two weeks in the hospital while doctors figured out what the hell happened (or at least, close enough to treat), and dealing with the complications from vomit ending up in his lungs, and an infection or two. He actually recovered faster than some of the Mayo staff expected, likely due to his efforts in the past several months to live a healthier lifestyle. While doctors were unable to pin down exactly what caused the cardiac arrest, the primary treatment for all three of the likely causes is the same: getting implanted with a defibrillator that will zap his heart if it ever gets out of rhythm or stops again. Pinning down the exact cause would have been possible, but the doctors became convinced by one of the country's top cardiologists who happened to be visiting Mayo that week that there was no point to putting Kyle through the tests needed (basically, recreate the event) when they could treat them all with the exact same step.

So Kyle's at home now, and apparently back to doing at least some work. He still isn't fully recovered, but there's no reason to believe that he won't be eventually. It'll be a while before he's allowed to lift his left arm over his shoulder, but frankly, he's alive and on the mend. Given what doctors do know about what happened, when Kyle first collapsed he had a roughly 6% chance of surviving. He's incredibly lucky.

Kyle's attitude during all this has been one of severe gratitude. He shocked some of the staff at Mayo by going out of his way to express appreciation for all they've done for him, including the janitor who cleaned his room (side note: how sad is it that doctors and nurses and janitors are shocked when someone sincerely thanks them for what they've done?). He's been floored by the outpouring of support demonstrated by the visits, the cards, the well-wishes, the way his (and my) employer stepped up to make sure his work was being taken care of so he didn't need to worry, the money donated to his family for the medical bills (both through the fundraiser, and independently), and everything else.

And so am I. When I wrote that original post, I went ahead and begged a few bloggers (James Croft, JT Eberhard, Ophelia Benson) I'm in contact with to do whatever they could. I literally teared up when I saw they had shared that post with others on Facebook and Google+. It meant so much to me to see strangers helping out. Thank you. Thank you so much to everyone.

In a later post I'll talk about some of the thoughts and ideas that this whole incident has sparked.

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